Compared to some of the other renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind, wave energy is still in its infancy (OK, maybe its early adolescence), and so far, wave energy advances haven’t yet come close to producing a cost-effective solution for electricity production.
And yet because some 50% of the US population lives within 50 miles of the coast, if it were more feasible, both in terms of efficiency and cost, wave energy could eventually prove to be a big contributor to the country’s renewable energy mix.
An initiative from the US Department of Energy (DOE), sponsored by the Water Power Program, could give wave energy technology a big boost over the next year and a half.
“What if in the next two years the wave energy industry achieved a technology leap so revolutionary that it would make the cost of wave energy competitive with traditional sources of energy? This could be the result of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wave Energy Prize.” – Wave Energy Prize
The Wave Energy Prize is looking for applicants who can design better wave energy conversion devices, with the goal being to produce a device with the potential to cut the cost of producing electricity from ocean waves by half. The 18-month competition will have participants design and build their wave energy device and then test and evaluate them at the US Navy’s Maneuvering and Seakeeping (MASK) Basin at Carderock, MD, with the overall winner taking in more than $1 million in cash prizes.
The Wave Energy Prize opens up to registration in April 2015, and the information on the site isn’t yet complete, but if you want to stay in the loop until then, sign up for the newsletter on the home page of the website.