A relatively new form of renewable energy is finally being tested in the US in Hawaii: wave-powered generation. The US Navy is currently testing two different generators that convert tidal movement into electricity.
Anyone who has been to the beach has wondered why the energy of waves and tides cannot be harnessed and turned into clean energy. It is not for lack of trying. There have been several efforts, but limited success. The main barrier is the ocean itself, which is a harsh environment for any kind of equipment.
One of the first offshore wave projects, launched off the Scottish coast in 1995, met an untimely demise shortly after being deployed.
Between 2008 and 2015, the Department of Energy awarded $136 million to 92 marine hydrokinetic projects, but does not have any commercial installations to show for it.
But the promise of the ocean continues to draw interest, and funding. In May the DOE rebooted its hydrokinetic research efforts.
The DOE now says it has $40 million in funding available for an open water, wave energy test facility.
The latest efforts come from the Navy, which is working toward making its fleet and operations more resilient and sustainable.
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