Pop quiz: what covers over 70% of our planet and makes up the biggest part of earth’s hydrosphere? If you said the ocean, give yourself a gold star. What’s the hydrosphere? Well, it’s the total amount of water on a planet, and includes water from everywhere on earth, such as in the air, underground, or the surface of the planet.
Why are we harping on the ocean? Because, as it turns out, the ocean could very well be a valuable source of energy generation… and could end up being one of the ways we create energy for a less dirty, less destructive future. And the way it could happen is through wave energy, which is formed when wind blows over the surface of water and the energy from the waves are captured in a device called an energy converter.
Here’s how it works: energy converters sit on or beneath the water’s surface, or are anchored to the ocean floor. These converters collect wave energy for use. Sometimes, it takes the form of waves getting pushed through narrow channels, where they power a turbine. It can get much more complicated, but you get the picture. Best part is, of all potential renewable energy sources, waves have the highest energy density.
Unfortunately, research and development of wave energy still has some catching up to do. Good news is, that’s happening, with several countries actively developing the technology, and lawmakers doing their parts to enact legislation that encourages such ventures. One such example is Australia, where an Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill was passed last year that provides a policy framework for building and operating offshore energy projects.
According to estimations, if wind energy can grow by 33% a year, it could be instrumental in helping us reach net-zero in the next few decades. In fact, scientists believe that wave energy has the potential to meet the entire globe’s energy needs if fully harnessed. That’s a tall promise, but it may not be far off. If the United States alone developed robust wind energy infrastructure, the technology has the potential to meet 66% of our energy needs. Has anyone shown these figures to Biden? Just kidding.
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So, we know that Australia is interested in wave energy… but who else is working on the technology? Turns out, plenty of people… like the UK, Denmark, Korea, Spain, China, Portugal, and Italy. But let’s not leave out the U.S., because we’re also toiling away at wave energy, and it’s looking like the Department of Energy has high hopes for what could be. Case and point: they are touting a newly patented technology called Distributed Embedded Energy Converter Technologies (or DEEC-Tec).
DEEC-Tec is specifically designed for applications in marine renewable energy to provide clean power from river and ocean waves, as well as currents and tides. Which, just by itself is amazing… but there’s more. Researchers believe that one day, DEEC-Tec could not just create power from waves, but could transform sources of everyday energy (think all physical movements or dynamic shape changes here) into electricity or other forms of usable energy.
Is your mind blown yet? Yeah, ours too. Everything about this is interesting, including how it works. DEEC-Tec is kind of like a giant sea snake, at least that’s how it looks. For the infrastructure to function, individual energy converters work together to create a larger structure, much like the muscle cells of a snake. And, whereas most devices use one generator for converting energy, DEEC-Tec amasses its numerous tiny converters to form one larger, flexible energy converter.
So now that we’re aware of wave energy technology, a few of its potential applications, and the possible promise it holds, let’s take a look at a few companies in the space trying to get their sea legs: Eco Wave Power and C-Power. Both of these companies are fighting to bring wave energy technology to the forefront, and profit from its promise. Most importantly, both are attracting investors, especially government investors, from all over the world to fund their projects.
Eco Wave Power is a leading onshore wave energy technology company with a patented, smart, cost-efficient technology that turns sea waves into green electricity. Their mission is to help in the fight against climate change through the commercialization of power production from ocean waves. The company already has a bit of a name for itself in the space, as they are currently involved in several projects, including construction of a grid connected project in Israel, the installation of its newest pilot project in the Port of Los Angeles, and many more.
Eco Wave Power has also been awarded the “Global Climate Action Award” by the United Nations… no small feat. The company has been developing their technology for over a decade, so the name may sound familiar to you. We’re mentioning them because they haven’t just listed, rather, the company recently accomplished an uplisting of American Depositary Shares (WAVE) from the Nasdaq First North Growth Market, where shares were originally listed in June of last summer.
C-Power is a U.S.-based marine energy company that is harnessing the power of the ocean to deliver what they call the most powerful, energy dense, best battery on earth. They deliver renewable energy through low-power solutions that bring energy and the cloud to the sea, as well as large-scale solutions that help decarbonize terrestrial grids, using their kilowatt-scale solutions to change the ocean from a power desert into a power and data-enriched environment.
C-Power systems are easily transported and deployed anywhere in the world, offering innovative opportunities in important spaces such as defense and security, agriculture, science, and communications. Earlier this year, the company landed investor backing via the closing of a Series B-2 round of funding. The company has also been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to receive $4.18 million in funding to test the next generation of the company’s autonomous offshore power system (AOPS) design.
Sounds cool, right? We think so… and we also think it makes sense. With so much of the earth being occupied by oceans, and our species looking for better ways to make energy, we would just about be nuts not to investigate this possible alternative. Maybe one day, along with your hot brick house, you’ll be powering things in your life with wave energy. Stranger things have happened, right? Come back next week, we’ll have more from the exciting world of IPOs!