The total estimated wave energy potential is said to be 32,000 TW hours per annum*, which is roughly twice the global electricity supply volume as of 2008 (16, 800 TWh/Yr)*. In other words, waves can become a constant source of renewable energy sufficient to meet the world’s annual energy demand.
* Assessing The Global Wave Energy Potential (Mørk et al. 2010)
Wave energy is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, regardless of time, season, and weather. The number of wave hits against a given shoreline is counted in millions per year, which not only enables a more stable source of power supply, but also offers a significant economic advantage by reducing the need for additional storage facilities.
Indexes of energy density for such renewable energy sources as solar and wind are on average 170~200 W/m2 and 200~800 W/m2 respectively* ². On the other hand, the energy density of wave is known to be as high as 5,000~55,000 W/m * ³. This means that much less space is required to produce the same amount of electrical power.
*¹ Global solar electric potential : A review of their technical and sustainable limits
*² Ocean Wind Power Maps Reveal Possible Wind Energy Sources
*³ Global Energy Network Institute
Sea waves are formed as a result of winds blowing over the ocean surface hundreds to thousands of kilometers away from the coastline. By measuring distant ocean waves, specific wave conditions of the littoral sea can be predicted up to five days in advance, while projection reliability is reported to be 35% more accurate than in the case of wind*.
* Innovations in Wave Power (Frost & Sullivan, Sep, 2014)