Free course

Energy resources: Wave energy

Free statement of participation on completion

The energy carried by ocean waves derives from a proportion of the wind energy transferred to the ocean surface by frictional drag. So, ultimately it stems from the proportion of incoming solar energy that drives air movement. Just how much energy is carried by a single wave depends on the wind speed and the area of ocean surface that it crosses; wave height, wavelength, and therefore wave energy, are functions of the distance or fetch over which the wind blows. This free course, Energy resources: Wave energy, considers wave power as a source of useable energy and whether or not it can ever make any significant contribution to global energy supplies.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • explain the principles that underlie the ability of wave power to deliver useable energy
  • outline the technologies that are used to harness the power of waves
  • discuss the positive and negative aspects of wave energy in relation to natural and human aspects of the environment.

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Course content