So, when I was at that breakfast last week (or I guess the week before at this point) I met a guy who works for the Oreogn Department of Energy. He was on his way to a conference to hear about a plan to install a wave energy facility on the Oregon coast.
At the time, I didn't really know about wave energy, but apparently there's a facility off the coast of Scotland that would be the model for the Oregon one.
Greenpeace has a good illustration of how it works. Basically, you have a big tube with air at the top and the ocean at the bottom. As the waves roll in, they compress the air in the tube, which causes a turbine to turn, and voila, electricity. Here's another illustration.
According to the MSN article, the main obstacle is funding. Rep. Peter Defazio may be on board, though, with an "if Scotland can do it, so can we" attitude.
Pretty cool, no?