The number of inventions wave energy conversion has created is a remarkable aspect of the topic. Therefore, it is sometimes said that this would be the technological domain in which the largest number of patent applications were numbered (probably more than 3,000 at the current time). According to the website of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), more than 200 wave energy converters were under development in the world in 2017, with varying degrees of maturity.
With this plethora of technologies in mind, we wanted to provide a historical perspective of wave energy conversion in this chapter. On the one hand, the first objective is to allow the reader, possibly neophyte and willing to develop a wave energy converter concept, to learn from the past. A second goal is to show that wave energy is not new energy, as we sometimes hear.
This is a chapter from Ocean Wave Energy Conversion: Resource, Technologies and Performance.