Wave and Tidal Power

WAVE AND TIDAL ENERGY as methods of saving energy and harnessing the power of nature can be explained alongside one another as they are inextricably linked. Turning the energy of the ocean’s waves and tides into power that we can use is a technology does indeed represent a significant potential as a renewable and environmentally clean energy source.

Wave energy is energy harnessed from the waves of the ocean, which are formed by wind moving across the surface of the ocean, whereas tidal energy is energy produced by the tides of the ocean, produced by the pull of gravity from the Moon as well as the spin of the Earth. There is a lot of energy in the movement of that much water! Wave and tidal power is considered renewable energy because we don't "use up" anything when we convert their energy to something usable like electricity.

There are three main ways that we can capture the power of waves – surface devices, underwater devices and reservoirs. Tidal power is harnessed slightly differently, via barrages / dams, tidal fences and turbines.

Concepts for wave energy have existed since the 1800s, however the application of modern technology and research into wave energy technology has recently increased due to the need for renewable energy sources. The first wave power plant in the world opened in 2008 in Portugal.

Tidal power to turn water wheels and grind grains was used as far back as Roman times and the Middle Ages. The idea of using tidal power for electricity is fairly recent, but the costs have historically been too high to make it a major energy source. Recent technological advances have, however, demonstrated that it could become a competitive and viable source and the opportunities to harness this form of power as a more mainstream option to encourage saving energy are increasing rapidly and Saving Energy features some of the leading innovators in this area.