According to the Energy Information Administration, global demand for electric power is expected to double by 2030. That's certain to spur growth in renewable energy sources, and Ocean Power Technologies (NASDAQ:OPTT) is one of the many firms angling for a piece of this market. Its novel approach -- to draw energy from the ocean -- didn't quite resonate with IPO investors, though. Shares have dropped 12.4% from Wednesday morning's $20 debut price.

For the past 10 years, Ocean Power has developed sophisticated buoys, capable of withstanding a hurricane, that harness ocean waves, convert their motion to electricity, and supply that juice to regional power grids. Ocean Power is working hard to increase its buoys' energy output, hoping to achieve 500KW of power production per buoy by 2010.

As you'd expect, the company's technology is both complicated and pricey. For the nine months ended Jan. 31, 2007, Ocean Power increased its product development costs by 56%, to $4.1 million.

The company will also need to fortify its position in the market. According to its prospectus, Ocean Power believes it has 20 to 30 competitors worldwide.

Remember that Ocean Power's technology is still in the early stages of commercialization, and there's no guarantee that the company's approach will gain traction. Those facts apparently aren't lost on the investors who've harshly punished its stock. Fools intrigued by the company's concept may not find sustained energy in this stock for some time.

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Fool contributor Tom Taulli, author of The Complete M&A Handbook, does not own shares mentioned in this article. He is currently ranked 2,169 out of 27,984 in Motley Fool CAPS. The Fool has a disclosure policy.