A study done in collaboration of researchers suggests that wave energy systems developed in the Pacific Northwest could be integrated into the overall energy grid at lower costs than some other forms of alternative energy, including wind power.
The study demonstrates that “wave energy will have fewer problems with variability than some energy sources and that by balancing wave energy production over a larger geographic area, the variability can be even further reduced.”
Ted Brekken, an associate professor and renewable energy expert in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, said: “By producing wave energy from a range of different sites, possibly with different types of technology, and taking advantage of the comparative consistency of the wave resource itself, it appears that wave energy integration should be easier than that of wind energy.”
The scientists point out another advantage of wave energy – that of its predictability – which in short-term generation capacity can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy.
The Pacific Northwest has some of the nation’s best wave energy resources, and as a result is home to the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.
This study was a collaboration of researchers at Oregon State University, the University of Victoria, and private industry.