Can shore-based wave power unlock clean, affordable…

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Many have tried to harness the ocean’s power to generate electricity, resulting in several embarrassing failures and little tangible success. Startup Eco Wave Power hopes to transcend that tempestuous legacy with a radically simple idea: capture the ocean’s energy closer to shore. 

This approach sacrifices the greater energy potential of larger offshore waves, but it avoids the destruction such waves wreak on machinery. Eco Wave Power installs and services its equipment on breakwaters or seawalls, eliminating the need for ships and divers. 

Founder and CEO Inna Braverman launched the company in 2011 when she was a 20-something recent university graduate with a political science degree. After working as a translator at a renewable energy development company, she became convinced that wave power could work, but that most companies trying it failed because they made things too hard for themselves.

Start where it’s easy, develop, get the world trusting in you and believing in you, and then go offshore,” she told Canary Media on a recent visit to Los Angeles. ​It’s a bit of a no-brainer.”

A decade later, Braverman runs a publicly traded company commercializing dockside wave energy technology that has supplied power to the grid in Gibraltar for six years. Now she’s bringing the equipment to the Port of Los Angeles to show American audiences how it works.

If successful, Eco Wave Power will embark on the unenviable task of navigating permitting and regulations for a kind of technology that’s never really been commercialized in the U.S. But the company believes it can supply coastal areas with power at prices that compete with cheap wind and solar.

If that proves to be true, Eco Wave Power will be adding a new category of renewable energy to the arsenal for decarbonizing the grid and fighting against climate change.

A nautical bounty — if you can catch it

The ocean packs a punch. The massive quantities of kinetic energy delivered in the form of waves could easily power the whole world, according to the folks who bother to tally that sort of hypothetical. But that presupposes that humans can tame Poseidon’s chaos. 

Attempts to capture this vast supply of energy have been the undoing of many well-meaning technological ventures….”

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