What is Ocean Energy?
Ocean Energy harnesses the natural movement of water within the oceans creating a vast resource from which energy can be extracted and transformed into electricity, water and other useful purposes.
Australia’s potential to be a global leader in ocean energy is exhilarating. As an island nation, Australia is surrounded by oceans and possesses some of the highest quality wave and tidal resources in the world. These resources present a tremendous opportunity for energy generation.
What is Wave Energy?
Waves form as wind blows across the surface of water creating kinetic energy. Devices called wave energy converters capture this clean wave energy and convert it into electrical power.
Waves have the highest energy density compared with other renewables – up to 5x to 10x greater than wind and solar. And because wave power is consistent and predictable, ocean energy has the greatest potential to be a main contributor to the world’s future energy mix.
What is Tidal Energy?
Tidal energy harnesses fluctuations of the ocean’s tides and currents to generate power. As the tide rises and falls, water moves through turbines, barrages, or fences converting tidal flow into usable electricity. Because water density is greater than air, the power generation from a tidal turbine can far exceed output from a wind turbine and require much less space.
Like wave energy, tides are highly consistent and predictable, proven to enhance baseload to a variety of power systems. The increase of available baseload from tidal or wave energy decreases the need for battery storage and diesel.
How is electricity and/or water produced from wave or tidal energy?
Technology developers around the world, including many AOEG members, are creating a variety of devices to capture ocean energy by targeting niche markets and consumer demand profiles. Wave height, swell period, tidal streams and energy demand are all variables that developers are optimizing to best compliment end user requirements.