Waves are a powerful source of energy, but wave power is an untested technology in New Zealand. The system illustrated here is in commercial production in Scotland. Known as the oscillating water column, it uses air pressure produced by the back-and-forth movement of the waves to drive turbines. When a wave enters the column it forces air past a turbine. As the wave retreats air is drawn back past the turbine and keeps it turning. The turbines are connected to a generator, which produces electricity.
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Source: Earth Science Australia