At first glance, waves have the makings of an ideal renewable energy source. They’re predictable, constant, and tremendously powerful. Their energy potential is astonishing—researchers estimate that waves off the coasts of the United States could generate as much as 2.64 trillion kilowatt-hours annually, equivalent to 64 percent of the country’s total electricity generation in 2019.
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But capturing the immense power radiating across our oceans’ surfaces is no easy feat—wave energy technology is challenging to engineer, startup costs are high, and testing in open ocean waters is a regulatory nightmare. That’s why wave energy’s trajectory has been a stop-and-go affair
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