Wave Energy Resource Potential for Europe

Wave Energy Resource Potential

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
2 Itaipu  Brazil
14,000 98.6 (2013) Hydro
3 Guri  Venezuela 10,235 47 (average) Hydro
4 Tucuruí  Brazil 8,370 21.4 (1999) Hydro
5 Kashiwazaki-Kariwa  Japan 8,212 33.3 (2011) Nuclear
6 Xiluodu  China 7,700 Hydro
7 Grand Coulee  United States 6,809 21 (2008) Hydro
8 Longtan  China 6,426 18.7 Hydro
9 Sayano-Shushenskaya  Russia 6,400 23.5 Hydro
10 Bruce  Canada 6,300 36.25 Nuclear
11 Krasnoyarsk  Russia 6,000 15.0 (2012) Hydro
12 Hanul  South Korea 5,906 48.16 Nuclear
13 Hanbit  South Korea 5,904 Nuclear
14 Zaporizhia  Ukraine 5,700 Nuclear
15 Shoaiba  Saudi Arabia 5,600 Fuel oil
16 Surgut-2  Russia 5,597 39.85 (2013) Natural gas
17 Taichung  Taiwan 5,500 Coal
18 Gravelines  France 5,460 Nuclear
19 Tuoketuo  China 5,400 Coal
20 Bełchatów  Poland 5,354 Coal


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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.