Wave energy possesses unique characteristics that offer an advantage over other renewables such as wind and solar energy:
- Less variable and with the variability being more gradual and with notice; and
- More predictable. Australia’s preeminent research organization, the CSIRO, estimates wave energy is at least three times more predictable than wind energy;
- The proximity of favourable wave energy sites to ultimate end users, thereby minimising transmission issues. Notably, approximately 60% of the world’s population lives within 60 kilometres of a coast.
Reliable and cost-effective energy supply is a common element underpinning the development of modern civilisations. Significant amounts of investment are now being directed at what is a new industry – the clean energy sector. Examples include:
- According to the United Nations Energy Programme, investment in renewable energy in 2006 was US$71 billion, up 46 per cent on investment in 2005.
- The Stern Report released in 2007 estimates that the market for low-carbon energy products will be worth around US$500billion by 2050.
- Global carbon emissions trading worth $21 billion in 2006 (up from $10b in 2005).
Clean energy technologies include traditional renewable energy technologies such as wind, hydro-electricity, solar as well as wave, biofuels, geothermal and clean coal technologies.