"The oceans cover a little more than 70 percent of the Earth's surface. This makes them the world's largest solar energy collector and energy storage system. According to the World Energy Council, the global energy available from wave energy conversion is 2000 TWh/yr. Tapping just 0.2 percent of this energy would satisfy the current global demand for electricity." (Anthony T. Jones, Ph.D.)
Wave energy is an exquisite energy source. Waves get their energy from the wind. Wind comes from solar energy. Waves gather, store, and transmit this energy thousands of miles with little loss. As long as the sun shines, wave energy will never be depleted. It varies in intensity, but it is available twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. Most of the wave power structures that have been constructed to date are like dams, long-lived. But, unlike dams, they promise comparatively benign environmental effects. Wave power systems are less environmentally intrusive than other renewable energy devices. Utilization of wave energy would increase the diversity of the energy supply, decreasing the dependency on fossil fuels.
POWER’s MissionThe mission of Pacific Ocean Wave Energy Research, Inc. (POWER) is to elevate wave energy to its rightful place among renewable sources for electricity generation. To do this POWER will:
Educate the public about wave energy. Utilize the media, schools, etc. to expand the public’s awareness of the availability of the vast wave energy resource.
Provide funds, expertise, and other resources, as they become available, in order to assist ocean energy companies that have promising technologies to research and construct full-scale prototypes for testing and evaluation.
Establish a center to focus on the full range of issues, such as environmental, legal, infrastructure, siting, storage, transmission, conditioning, etc., involved in the extraction of energy from ocean waves.
Why is POWER?The commercialization of wave energy conversion has some unique considerations. Experience has shown that before utilities, venture capitalists, or any other entity will build, own, and operate a wave energy plant, there will need to be adequate assurances of viability in the areas of economics, output, survivability, etc. These assurances will only be provided by full-scale demonstrations of the technology being considered. The level of funding required to build demonstration projects has not, and is not currently, available from any source in the United States. The U.K., Norway, Australia, Japan, India, Canada, etc. have funded, or helped fund, demonstration projects. With little or no funding available in the U.S., few companies here have shown any interest in developing wave energy.
What is POWER?POWER is a nonprofit organization capable of receiving tax-deductible contributions from charitable foundations, philanthropists, corporate sponsors, etc. This will provide a much-needed new source of developmental funding for wave energy conversion. In addition to its main mission, POWER will:
Provide a forum for sharing information and opinion on the emerging industry standards and markets.
Develop education programs and networking opportunities.
Lead efforts to develop government and private funding sources for wave energy.
Promote the training of marine technology professionals by encouraging industry-educational partnerships.
Last revised April 9, 2002