Wave Energy Resource Potential ( Solar Thermal Magazine – Blog ) One of the so far most underdeveloped clean energy resource is the waves on the Ocean ( and other large bodies of water ) . Solar thermal energy from the sun causes areas of high and low pressure across the globe. This difference in air pressure causes we know to be wind which in turn causes the waves on the ocean.
Much of the current development for the conversion of wave energy to usable renewable electricity has be done in the U.K and other parts of Europe. Specifically Scotland has perhaps the largest commitment to the technology with a large testing center in Orkney. North America and in particular the U.S. has been slow to support research with funding and private industry has so far considered it as too large a risk.
It is estimated that for Europe alone the yearly available power from waves is 167,100 Megawatts. To put this in perspective the largest nuclear plant in the world has a capacity of 8212 Mwatts. This plant however is in Japan and is currently offline. The largest electricity generating plant in the world ( as of today ) of any type is the Three Gorges hydroelectric dam in China.
Below is a list of the top 20 electric generators in the world ( source Wikipedia 2014 )
Mwatts Gwatthrs Source
|1||Three Gorges||China||22,500||83.27 (2013)||Hydro|
|7||Grand Coulee||United States||6,809||21 (2008)||Hydro|
|15||Shoaiba||Saudi Arabia||5,600||Fuel oil|
|16||Surgut-2||Russia||5,597||39.85 (2013)||Natural gas|
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.