World wave energy

Wave power in kW per metre of wave crest in various parts of the world


Wave projects around the world


Coastlines suitable for wave power projects

Wave power installations. List compiled by OES - Ocean Energy Systems, a section of the IEA - International Energy Agency.

Red areas are regions of high wave energy.  Click on the map or link below for more detailed information.


Waves have solar energy

Waves are a form of solar energy. The sun heats parts of the Earth, causing hot air to rise, producing wind, in turn producing waves in water. The greater the wind speed and the fetch (length of water exposed to wind), the greater the wave energy.

Yes, there is a huge amount of wave energy, but in reality only a tiny fraction could ever be harnessed. At present it costs about seven times as much as coal fired power. The challenge is to harness the energy without having the equipment destroyed by the excess energy of storms. There are hundreds of patents for harnessing wave energy, and many companies are trying their technologies. Power companies, governments, and investors, are trying to predict which technologies will be successful. 

UK is leading the pack with a feed-in-tariff of 50c/kWh. So it is worthwhile setting up in UK while the bugs are ironed out.  It means that you'll get paid for the electricity you produce so that you can make a guaranteed return on your investment for up to 20 years

There are several main ways of extracting power from ocean waves:

Power in ocean waves: 

P = 0.57 * H2 * T

P: Power in kW per meter of wave front.

H: The average of the highest third of the incident waves measured between crest and trough.

T: Seconds between each wave crest.


A wave height H of 3 m, and period time T of 6 sec, contains the power: 

P = 0.57 * 32 * 6 = 30.78 kW/m of wave front.