Identification and mitigation of non-technological barriers

Identification and mitigation of non-technological barriers

Despite the remaining technical challenges for harnessing the energy of ocean waves, a major concern of product and project developers, as well as the international RTD community, is the existence of obstacles not directly originating in the technology. Although it is impossible to give a concise and generally valid description of such issues over a large geographical area, an attempt to present in a concise way the most common barriers, their severity and their logical relationships has been concluded within the WAVEPLAM project, in order to:

(i)    Rise awareness in the target groups of the project (in particular authorities and decision makers), and
(ii)  Prepare a baseline for tackling these barriers on which levels necessary.

The term “non- technological” or “non-technical” barrier was established in the context of the difficulties for the market penetration of renewable energy technologies in general, thus being a rather recent issue. Mainly with respect to photovoltaics and wind energy, but also regarding biofuel and to some extent also ocean energy, a number of teams world-wide have identified and collated such barriers, mostly with some strong regional focus.

Within this work the identified barriers were grouped regarding their origin, effects and potential mitigation mechanisms, together with a tentative assessment of their grade of severity for wave energy implementation. The grouping does not necessarily correspond exactly to other attempts of structuring non-technical barriers, however in principle it is in agreement with most often cited barriers.