Potential

Why Wave Energy?

EIA Peak Oil graph depicting The need for alternative energy sources has never been greater than it is right now. In 2011, the United States used 97.3*1015 BTU’s of energy, which is equivalent to the annual electrical output of the Hoover Dam seven-trillion times over. Currently, the energy mix in the Unites States includes only 9.5% of renewable energy systems, the balance being comprised of non-renewable sources like coal, petroleum and nuclear.

Petroleum in particular makes up 36% of the energy consumption in the Unites States and this supply will one day be depleted. Lower end predictions estimate that the supply will peak in 2026, but even on the higher end predictions place peak oil production at 2047. Fossil fuels are a finite resource that will become depleted and as environmental concerns become increasingly important, they will also become increasingly undesirable. Fortunately, the oceans present a widely untapped wealth of energy that can more than quench humanity’s need for energy.

Wave and tidal energy represent a large, untapped resource for the United States and responsible development of this clean, renewable energy source is an important part of our all-of-the-above energy strategy

Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson

On average, the sun delivers 6,000 times the energy that all of the humans on earth directly consume in the form of electricity. And of all the energy the sun provides the earth, only 0.02% of the incident energy is converted into usable energy. Of all the energy the sun provides the earth, 70% is stored in the oceans in the form of thermal energy and indirectly, kinetic energy, or waves. The ocean holds the key to humanity’s energy needs today, tomorrow and well into the future; we need only to harvest it.

Featured Video

The following video won 3rd place in C-SPAN’s StudentCam contest in 2013. The video was produced by Tucker Hemphill.

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