The Advantages and Disadvantages of Ocean Wave Energy

The most abundant of all resources is water. It covers about 71% of the earth. The waves that ocean produce carry a lot of energy with them. They have been flowing nonstop for millenniums and will continue to do so for many more.

Source: InterestingEngineering

The waves have the potential to provide us with a renewable source of energy indefinitely for the foreseeable future. It speaks about its great potential in a world where another power generation method relies on a finite fuel source.

The wave energy seems to have a promising future. However, there are advantages and disadvantages of wave energy as a source for generating electricity.

Advantages of Using Wave as an Energy Source:

The wave energy has many benefits. Some of them are:

1. Renewable:

The waves have been crashing along our shores for thousands of years. Their ebb and flow can generate a lot of energy. The tides always flow towards the coast and then back. Thus, we cannot run out of waves.

They are not like fossil fuels, which are finite in quantity and may someday run out. Moreover, whatever the season may be, they keep flowing even if their level decreases. Since they do not provide any assistance other than that of a moon, so they flow uninterruptedly. We can harness them without the fear of exhausting any resource.

Source: wearesalt

2. Ample and Generally Accessible:

Waves are such a phenomenon that occurs throughout the world. Wherever there is an ocean, you will see waves. Since there are many big cities which are near the beach, it is more feasible to provide them with wave energy.

3. Effortlessly Anticipated:

The difficulty with resources is that they are hard to predict. Some of them may run out; others will not burn well or provide us with the energy we require. Moreover, the uncertainty affects a lot of other matters as well.

The waves of energy can be consistent. We can set up equipment accordingly to produce the best result. There a lot of types of methods we can generate power through streams. It will chiefly depend upon the kind of waves we get in a particular area.

The predictable shift in the quality of the waves can help us close the gap in energy production. We can adjust our strategy accordingly.

4. Good for Environment:

Wave energy is a form of clean green energy. It is not harmful as it does not produce any toxic byproducts such as poisonous gas, land, and water pollution. We do not require any other supplementary sources. They can run electric generators directly.

The crash of waves does not interfere with any of the natural affairs. Nowadays, such a type of energy is hard to find.

5. Decreases Dependency on Fossil Fuels:

The places that are near the coastal line can use the power of waves to replace fossil fuels easily. It helps in reducing the usage of finite sources such as oil, coal, and gas. It will help to reduce not only pollution but will also help us in conserving these precious resources.

6. Multiple Designs:

The different rate of flow of the waves requires specific models for the generators to run. Therefore, researchers have come up with new and innovative designs to overcome the increase or decrease in waves.

There are a lot of different methods that power generation companies use to harness the energy of the waves. It includes structures that they built on the land to free-floating vessels that gather the energy and then transmits it.

The turbines can be both near the shoreline and on a vessel in the middle of the sea. Thus multiple alternatives help in providing more opportunities where if one is not feasible, the other can work for you.

Source: businessgreen

Disadvantages of Power Generation Through Wave Energy:

As with all technologies, there are also some demerits which accompany them. The demerits of wave energy are:

1. Accessible in Only a Few Places:

The problem with waves is that it only flows near the ocean. Thus, a lot of cities and towns cannot use them to run their powerhouses. The only real advantage is to those places which are near the ocean. The power-producing capability as the landlocked countries cannot access this source on their own. Although this is a clean, abundant source of energy, it is only available to a few places.

    Source: 40southenergy

2. Noise Pollution:

Another drawback of wave energy is noise pollution. The noise of the turbine is much more than that of the waves. The people who live near the sea or those that go for fun, complain about the noise. Similarly, the effect on marine life that lives near the coast on land or in reefs is also harmful.

3. Adverse Effect on Marine Ecosystem:

The wave energy power plant creates a lot of hazards for the animals which live near the coast. Since the power plant requires heavy machinery to run, they disturb the habitat of the sea creatures such as starfish and crabs. The fish that live in the coral reefs also move away due to the vibrations and the sound that the turbine creates.

     Source: mongabay

The problem is that the menace of noise pollution is not the only danger to the creatures. There are times when toxic chemicals which the plant use, can leak and pollute the sea.

4. High Maintenance:

The equipment which runs the power station near the sea has a high chance of corrosion. It is in contact with the salty sea air and water. Moreover, storms, both big and small, can affect its performance. Since the cost of repair is too much, the overall cost of the project is quite a lot for a party with less than adequate resources.

The problem is that if you do not use decent quality parts, you will have to keep changing the parts repeatedly. Therefore it’s better to buy pipes, even small spare parts like a gate valve form a trusted gate valve manufacturer. It will decrease your expenditure to a certain degree. However, it does not eliminate the problem of corrosion.

Conclusion:

The wave energy has the potential to supplement the existing source of power. The energy projects are still young, and a lot of research is taking place to make it more efficient. There is a lot of perspective on this type of energy. Although there are a few negative points, yet its pros outweigh its cons.