Questions for ‘Ocean energy could be the wave of the future’


Not just great for surfing, waves may be the next big thing in renewable energy.

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To accompany feature “Ocean energy could be the wave of the future


Before Reading:

1. What does it mean for a source of energy to be “renewable”? What are two types of renewable energy? What are two types of non-renewable energy?

2. What types of energy does your home use?

During Reading: 

1.   Based on the story, what is a major drawback to wind and solar power?

2.   How does water move in a wave? What happens when it moves into shallower water?

3.   What is a wave-energy converter?

4.   Where does a wave-energy converter get its energy? Where does it send energy?  

5.   How do engineers decide which locations are best for wave converters?

6.   What was the inspiration for Mohammad-Reza Alam’s wave carpet? Why did he think it would work?

7.   How does Alam’s wave converter turn ocean waves into electricity? How much electricity can it produce off of the California coast?

8.   What are three potential advantages to using a wave-energy converter that sits near the seafloor, versus one that floats on the water’s surface?

9.   How might structures that capture wave energy affect a coastline?

10.  How might wave energy converters affect nearby marine animals?

After Reading: 

1.   If you lived near a coast, how would you feel about a power company installing offshore wave-energy converters? What are some factors that would affect your feelings about it?

2.   How might efforts to harvest energy from ocean waves be affected by rising sea levels? Explain your reasoning.