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Registration Open For The New Wave Energy Prize Competition

While solar and wind sweep ahead, leading the game-changers of the renewable energy market, one fresh but valuable resource is building up momentum as well — wave energy. The US Department of Energy’s Water Power Program is looking to help grow that momentum, and registration is now open for the new Wave Energy Prize competition.

Sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the competition’s purpose is none less than doubling the state-of-the-art performance of wave energy conversion (WEC) devices over the next two years. The DOE announced the Wave Energy Prize at the International Marine Renewable Energy Conference co-located at the National Hydropower Association Annual Conference.


According to, “Marine and hydrokinetic energy technologies convert the energy of waves, tides, and river and ocean currents into electricity.” The DOE’s intention for the competition is to advance developments of WEC devices. The focus is mainly to accelerate invention of WEC devices capturing increased energy from ocean waves.

The population of the United States loves to live near water. More than 50% of Americans are residing within 50 miles of coastlines. Thus, such technologies offer boundless communities a chance to restore clean air and water via renewable electricity in their regions. Successful entries will diminish costs and affect the commercial deployment of wave energy in expanding areas.

As a public prize challenge sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DOE)‘s Water Power Program, expectations are for this competition to broaden the diversity of organizations involved in Wave Energy Converter (WEC) technology development — at the same time energizing and motivating present stakeholders.


With more than $2 million freed up for the most inspired and creatively effective teams, the Wave Energy Prize bestows an occasion for participants to:

Win a monetary prize.

Receive seed funding to build a 1/20th scale model WEC device for testing.

Participate in two rounds of WEC testing, including the final round at the US Navy’s Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin in Carderock, Maryland, the nation’s premier wave testing facility.

Contribute to the development of innovative clean energy technologies that boost US energy security.

The Wave Energy Prize news release quotes White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Chief of Staff Cristin Dorgelo: “Prize challenges are an effective way to spur innovation and solve tough problems by attracting untapped talent…. By reaching beyond existing communities of interest, prize challenges source out-of-discipline perspectives that can yield outstanding and novel solutions. This effort brings new perspectives to the table with minimal risk.”

The panel of judges is composed of technical experts from Sandia National Laboratories (in Albuquerque, New Mexico), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (in Golden, Colorado), the Naval Surface Warfare Center—Carderock Division (in Bethesda, Maryland), and Ricardo, Inc. (in Van Buren Township, Michigan). The DOE expects to select finalists and alternates in early 2016.

Registration for the Wave Energy Prize is scheduled to remain open until June 15. For more information or to register, go to

The Water Power Program:

“What if in the next two years the wave energy industry achieved a technology leap so revolutionary that it would make the cost of wave energy competitive with traditional sources of energy? This could be the result of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wave Energy Prize.” –Wave Energy Prize


Ecopreneurist reports the 18-month competition will have participants design and build their wave energy devices and then test and evaluate them at the US Navy’s Maneuvering and Seakeeping (MASK) Basin at Carderock, MD.

Related Stories:

The Future of Wave Power

First-Of-Its-Kind Wave Energy Farm For Largest Naval Base In Australia

Integrating Wave Energy Will Prove Relatively Simple

Images via the DOE

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