Solid state wave energy is one of 20 carbon reduction options in Drawdown’s list of “coming attractions” that hold major future promise, but aren’t quite ready for prime time. The technology has incredible potential, but faces barriers to becoming a current, mainstream solution.
“The ocean remains the largest untapped source of renewable energy on earth,” Drawdown states, and companies like Oscilla Power are trying to tap that potential with wave energy designs that don’t have any moving parts. The technology seems simple because it doesn’t include the usual motors, blades, or turbines.
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But that very strength could delay solid state wave systems from becoming a common solution to generate energy, since they require heavy duty equipment and continuing maintenance. “Aqua turbines are technically more efficient than wind turbines,” Drawdown states. “The problem with wave energy technologies is economic inefficiency.” So far, that reality makes solid state wave energy an extremely expensive technology, and the oceans are a notoriously powerful force to manage.