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Wave & Tide Power

Waves crashing against a wall


#Renewable Energy #Sustainable Energy #Water


Doug Fogelson

Oceans cover approximately 71% of the Earth and they are in constant motion due to both tides and waves. The tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and waves are created from the action of wind on the water’s surface. Thanks to some of our brilliant human engineers, we can now harness the motion of tides and waves to produce clean electricity with tidal turbines, barrages (dams), lagoons, or other means such as a “wave line magnet.”

There are some tidal power generators operating a small scale, but the technologies are still in the process of being tested and implemented. Tidal power stations are expensive and certain systems are potentially bad for the environment as they negatively impact marine life and create changes in the tidal flow, such as barrages that can impact the habitat for fish and increase silt. The same is true of wave-generated power, with various practical and financial challenges causing first generation experiments at scale to close. Perhaps the new SWEL “wave line magnet” device will change that; it seems low cost and high output. All of these systems require serious infrastructure and create some hazards, but despite these setbacks, it remains important to keep trying to find solutions to create clean and renewable energy at scale.

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