Engineers from Scotland and Italy have developed a new wave energy technology that could generate low-cost electricity for thousands of homes. Engineers from the University of Edinburgh and from several universities in Italy have designed, developed, and tested a device that costs less than conventional designs and that can be incorporated into existing ocean systems, the University of Edinburgh has said in a statement, describing the scientists’ study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A scientific magazine. The ocean and sea waves can provide a source of renewable energy, but few wave energy converters have moved past pre-commercial stage because of the high costs and the often harsh marine environment, the authors of the paper argue. So they designed the so-called Dielectric Elastomer Generator (DEG) using flexible rubber membranes. The device is cheaper than conventional designs, has fewer moving parts, and uses durable materials, the engineers say. […]