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OCR L OCEANENERGY 1224 04If you’ve ever gone surfing or felt seasick or simply watched as the ocean crashed onto shore, you know the power that waves hold. The potentially world-changing question is, can that power be harnessed in a cost-effective way to produce clean, reliable electricity?

Solar and wind dominate discussions about renewable energy. And with only so much land available for such projects, interest in using open seas for floating solar and offshore wind farms is growing. That was on display earlier this month, when the federal government held the first auction for wind farms off the coast of California.

Image: A wave energy converter sits offshore from Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla. The Oakland-based company CalWave partnered with the research institute to test the technology in hopes of using waves to make clean electricity. (Photo courtesy of CalWave)