Mapped economic modelling of wave energy

C. Frost, D. Findlay, L. Johanning, E. Macpherson, P. Sayer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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A high level economic model has been developed to map wave energy performance and levelised cost of energy (LCOE). It takes time-series, gridded hindcast wave data, for example generated by SWAN (Simulating WAves Nearshore) software. Interpolating this data against a device power matrix, the wave conditions are converted to power, and then to LCOE using a discounting method and considering capital and operational costs. The results are presented as maps, which serve as high level site assessment tools and allow the most cost-competitive sites to be established. Initial results have been generated for Albatern Ltd, a Scottish wave energy developer and industrial partner of the research project. Their technology is the WaveNET, a small-scale array based device which is constructed from 7.5 kW rated modular units (known as “Squids”). LCOE Maps have been created for a domain covering the Scottish Western Isles, as well as for NOAA hindcast datasets for regions around the world. This paper includes a sample case study, comparing the LCOE for a device concept at two different scales. The results found that, while the larger device performs better over the majority of the area, there are places where the smaller device has a better LCOE, sometimes by as much as 20-30 p/kWh. These are in the more sheltered regions, and imply both that there is not a one fit all solution to wave energy, and that device scale is a parameter which could be tuned for location.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Renewable Energies Offshore
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Renewable Energies Offshore (RENEW2016), Lisbon, Portugal, 24-26 October 2016
EditorsC. Guedes Soares
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2016
EventRenewable Energies Offshore - Technico Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 24 Oct 201626 Oct 2016


ConferenceRenewable Energies Offshore
Abbreviated titleRENEW 2016
Internet address


  • renewable energy and sustainability
  • economic modelling
  • wave energy


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