The ABC has a report on the potential of wave power in Australia, noting "Australian scientists have mapped out the best places across the nation's southern coast for generating wave energy, all the way from Geraldton in Western Australia to King Island in Tasmania" - Scientists map out wave energy hotspots.
A new CSIRO energy atlas shows that if just 10 per cent of the energy generated from waves was harnessed it would meet half of the nation's current electricity consumption. Australia's southern coastline has been identified by the World Energy Council as one of the world's best sites for generating wave energy.
The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research's Dr Mark Hemer says even the small fraction of energy harnessed from Australia's coast will be enough to meet future government targets. "If we look at the sustained energy resource along the southern coastline - and we're looking between Geraldton in West Australia and southern tip of Tasmania - that has a sustained wave energy resource of about... five times larger than Australia's present day electricity consumption," he said. "It's a small fraction... we figure out that if we could harness just 10 per cent of the wave energy along a 1,000km strip of the southern coast, then that would be enough to meet the Australian Government's renewable energy targets of 20 per cent renewable energy before 2020."
Dr Hemer says wave energy is not a quick fix and it is still a decade or two away from being a real force as an alternative energy. "Wave energy really is a baby at the moment - there's currently only about four megawatts of wave energy generating capacity installed globally," he said. "If you compare that to wind energy, there's about 200,000 megawatts of installed capacity, or 50,000 times more, so wave energy is a long way behind on the cost learning curve."