We are planning on having a series of posts on our experience with and perspectives on the Wave Energy Prize. Please note that these are our own opinions and not those of the Wave Energy Prize or the U.S. Department of Energy.
We'll start simply: What is the Wave Energy Prize? and what do we do as a part of it?
The Wave Energy Prize is a competition or a challenge (like the X-PRIZE) that encourages participants with a significant financial "carrot" to innovate in a particular field at a rapid rate. The target that the Wave Energy Prize has set is to "double the energy captured from ocean waves" for the same device cost (i.e. cut the price of energy produced by waves in half). We think this is a very obtainable goal.
Prizes are a great way to spur innovation, particularly in a field like wave energy, which is at an early stage where it has been difficult to find investment. A prize not only offers an almost immediate financial reward, but it encourages investment from the participants and supporting companies of their own resources, and creates an excitement about and interest in a technology. Prizes are often very efficient investments that result innovation worth more than the prize budget.
There are three stages in the Wave Energy Prize:
And the winners of this stage will get:
Seems exciting to us, but we love wave energy.
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These posts are intended to help people understand what it is we're doing.