Catching energy from the waves
One terawatt-hours/year of wave energy supplies around 93,850 average sized homes in the United States every year. A research project done by UK Marine Foresight Panel says that one percent of available water energy could supply at least five times the global demand for energy.
Types of Wave Energy Technology
Floats, buoys, or pitching devices generate electricity by catching the rising and falling of waves. Once those waves are caught, they go into a hydraulic pump that harnesses the energy to use as electricity or a power source.
Oscillating water column devices generate electricity at the shore the same way the above does. The only things different is that a cylindrical shaft lets the water enter. When the water enters, air pushes out of the top. The air then goes into a turbine that uses the air to create energy.
A tapered channel can go on or off shore. These concentrate waves and push them into an elevated reservoir. Energy is created with hydro power turbines as the water is released.
The best wave generating technology, located in the United Kingdom, costs 7.5 cents per kWh. To compare, a large scale coal technology costs 2.6 cents kWh. Coal isn't a renewable resource and waves are.