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Tikkurilantie 10 , FI-01380 Vantaa, Finland

California’s Bill 605 Powers Up Wave Energy Opportunities


WaveRoller welcomes The California Senate Bill 605, introduced by Senator Steve Padilla on February 15, 2023, which calls for a comprehensive and collaborative study to evaluate the feasibility and benefits of using wave energy and tidal energy.

It requires the state’s Energy Commission to develop a strategic plan for the deployment of wave and tidal energy technologies, infrastructure, and facilities.

The SB 605 bill recognizes the many benefits that marine energy provides, saying that if developed and deployed at scale, wave and tidal energy ‘can provide economic and environmental benefits to the state and the nation’.

This is the second bill focused on exploring wave energy technology introduced in the past year in the United States which notes that ocean energy represents the third largest source of renewable energy and the largest source of underutilized renewable energy. The oceans hold an enormous amount of energy for both United States and Europe as well as many other regions, which are ideally situated to use wave energy to help to substantially reduce global and national carbon emissions.

California’s long coastline has good wave conditions. On average over a typical year the wave energy flux is about 600 kWh/m/day, higher in the north and lower in the south. In comparison the solar resource in California ranges from 4 to 8 kWh/m2/day. This seasonality of wave energy in California is one of the essential benefits of wave energy.

Just like solar and wind power, wave energy is also seasonal. One of the key benefits of wave energy in California is the State’s seasonality which is out of phase with both wind and solar. Wave energy peaks in the north to well over 1 MWh/m/day in winter and falls off to one quarter of that in the summer months. To give some scale, the 5 TWh winter shortfall is equivalent to the wave energy heading towards 70 miles of coastline. That’s about the same length as the developed wind resource areas at Mojave and Palm Springs placed end to end. Wave energy significantly balances the seasonal challenge of wind and solar.

AW-Energy’s WaveRoller wave energy device is just one tool in the clean energy toolbox needed to transition to 100% renewables. WaveRoller is a nearshore technology, consisting of a panel that is hinged at the seabed and moves back and forth in the ocean swell. Smooth, grid compliant electricity is generated from this mechanical motion and transferred about a mile to the shore and to the substation.

In California WaveRoller is ready to play a significant role and not only in terms of power generation. The majority of a WaveRoller device can be manufactured locally as well as operated and maintained by local engineers, generating thousands of new highly skilled U.S. jobs in an upcoming industry. And as costs of new technologies in recent years have been higher than wind and solar, there are now signs that costs are beginning to fall in the same way as other early phase technologies.

If California succeeds in generating 100% clean electricity by 2045, it will have succeeded in reaching a goal of global significance and leading the way in an array of new technologies — including wave energy.

The Bill 605 – wave energy and tidal energy –  is with the State Senate Environment & Energy Committee and will be brought before the committee in the coming weeks.