Engineers use sensors and software to refine wave-energy systems
The whole world could be powered by a tiny fraction of the ocean’s untapped energy — if it could be harnessed.
Wave energy researchers will focus on the tidal inlets and coastal waves of Alaska as a result of a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Until now, the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center has been a partnership of Oregon State University and the University of Washington.
These are the formative years of a West Coast wave energy industry, and scientists are working with businesses, communities and policymakers to gather environmental data, test new technologies and consider the options.
In an ideal world, offshore wave energy buoy arrays would be placed where they don’t constrain fishermen and crabbers and or harm fish and marine mammals. We need to do enough research to know that sea life — and the people who depend on it — will not be compromised.
Thanks to a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, Oregon State University and the private sector, wave energy is moving out of the lab and into the ocean.