What is the difference between wave energy and tidal energy?


In his day we talked to you about tidal energy, which also comes from the oceans, but it is not the same as wave energy.

Tidal energy comes from the movement of the tides, which are produced by the interaction of gravitational forces between the Moon and the Earth. In that way, we have high tide when the water level rises and low tide when it descends.

Wave energy takes advantage of the movement of waves, which are produced by the action of the wind and are independent of the tides.

When this wind makes contact with the surface of the sea, friction occurs that produces waves. Their power depends on the strength of the wind, the surface of the water, the extent affected and the depth. The lower the latter, for example, the lower the waves will be, that is why they descend in height when they reach the shore of the beach.

As we can see, they are two very different mechanisms.

In short, wave energy has potential as a clean source, although its current contribution is still very small. However, given the enormous energy of the oceans, the right technology could change that.

Advantages and disadvantages of wave energy

We have already mentioned some of the main advantages of wave energy:

  • It is a clean energy, because there are no harmful emissions into the atmosphere or direct pollution due to waste.
  • It is a renewable energy, since the wind and the waves that produce it are a phenomenon that will always occur.
  • The oceans have enormous energy, both in their tides and in their waves. This represents a huge reserve that could be used with the right technology.
  • Of course, not all are advantages. Although it is clean, it does not mean that it does not cause an impact on the marine ecosystem.

Especially some technologies that we have seen, such as the oscillating water column, emit noise that can affect marine fauna. Similarly, devices and cables can cause entrapment or distortion in the ocean habitat.