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Bombora Wave Energy has developed a technology for harnessing the consistent energy in waves. The mWave sits on the ocean floor, making it resilient in storms and unobtrusive to other marine activity.

Bombora Wave Energy mWave captures energy from waves and converts it into clean electricity. Due to the risk of damage from strong storms, wave energy technologies are typically expensive and have a complex design. However, realising that 80% of wave energy can be harnessed from 10m below the ocean’s surface, the mWave lies on the ocean floor.

It has three main components: a concrete bed that anchors it to the ocean floor; a series of flexible rubber membranes; and a turbine. The membranes are filled with air, and upon receiving pressure from the waves, the air is driven through the turbine, generating electricity. The air is then recycled back into the membranes, ready for the next wave. A sub-sea cable then transports the electricity to shore where it is distributed into the local power grid. Because the device sits on the ocean floor, most other marine activities, including recreational pursuits, can still take place uninterrupted.

At present, the company is developing a series of 1.5MW converters in Albany, Western Australia, which are expected to come into operation in 2020. In 2018 they received £10.3 million in funding to build a 1.5MW demonstration project in Wales, and are also pursuing further projects including a 60MW wave farm in Peniche in Portugal, and another in the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

Why you should care

Wave energy is a much less mature market than other renewable sources such as wind and solar power, despite the fact it is highly predictable and less volatile than its counterparts. However, with the right technology and investment, the company estimates that wave power has the potential to provide 10% of total global energy needs. Bombora Wave Energy has developed a simple, resilient and scalable solution that will not interfere with other marine activities or wildlife.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Affordable and clean energy

The mWave is helping to drive commercialisation of wave energy, contributing to a diverse and resilient renewable energy mix.