With the help of the U.S. military, a company called Ocean Power Technologies is looking to exploit Hawaii’s massive wave energy potential as a renewable energy source.

Ocean Power Technologies’ wave powered energy producing design is a giant buoy that generates electricity by bobbing up and down in the ocean’s waves, working an internal plunger connected to a hydraulic pump.

Since so much of the world’s inhabitants live on its coastlines, wave energy presents a potentially convenient and dependable source of power that is in close proximity to many population centers. U.S. military bases plan to be among the first to take advantage of this. Ground zero for America’s foray into ocean power: The U.S. Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

A pair of CNN articles on wave power explore the potential for the development of this renewable resource.

The company envisions hundreds of buoys, more powerful than this one, all clustered together, producing huge quantities of energy and sending it back to shore. While it’s expensive now, many governments around the world are providing funding to ocean energy companies, including OPT, to help get the industry off the ground, drive innovation, and bring costs down. –CNN

Check out the first video installment of CNN’s new energy technology series entitled Earth’s Frontiers below. For more information on wave power see the CNN articles ‘Surf’s up for Hawaii’s hydro-power’ and ‘The new wave: Harnessing the power of the ocean’.

Harnessing Hawaii’s wave power

Additional resources:

CNN – Earth’s Frontiers

New Wave Ocean Power: The Tide is High