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How does wave power work?

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Quick Answer

Wave power refers to power or energy harnessed from the waves in a body of water, most commonly the ocean. This energy is difficult to harness, so wave power stations are rare.

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How does wave power work?
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Full Answer

The first wave power station ever commissioned was Islay LIMPET, commissioned and connected to the United Kingdom's national grid in 2000. The United Kingdom was developing wave power until lack of funding and other hurdles put promising projects on hold after initial enthusiasm in the late 1970s.

Wave power stations work by placing a structure near a body of water with a water chamber and a turbine. The waves cause the water level to rise and fall in the chamber, and a turbine which turns a generator is placed in a hole where the resulting air from the waves escapes. The force generated by the movement of the waves causes air to push out through this turbine, and thus wave energy is harnessed. New plants were commissioned in the 2010s in various locations. Some renewable energy supporters suggest that if wave power were effectively harnessed, less than 0.1 percent of the potential renewable energy within the world's oceans would supply the global need for energy five times over.

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