A team of mathematicians and engineers from the University of Exeter and Tel Aviv University have devised a means of accurately predicting the power of the next incoming wave in order to make wave power technology far more efficient – potentially extracting twice as much energy as is currently possible.

The key challenges for wave power generation are preventing devices being damaged by the hostile marine environment and improving the efficiency of energy capture from the waves.

This research enables devices to accurately predict the power of the next wave in order to extract the maximum energy by controlling the response required for a wave of the particular size. Because the device responds appropriately to the force of the next wave, it is also far less likely to be damaged and would not need to be turned off in stormy conditions.

Lead author Dr Guang Li of the University of Exeter said: "Our research has the potential to make huge advances to the progress of marine renewable energy … This is a major step forward and could help pave the way for wave energy to play a significant role in providing our power."