One of the objectives and expected outcomes of the WAVEPLAM project is to raise the knowledge of decision makers and investors about the state of the art, the weight of the different non-technical barriers and the best practices to overcome them in several European countries.
This report focuses on the state of the art of available technologies, particularly those that have performed sea trials, and the development strategy they have followed, a classification and weighing of the most important non-technical barriers and a list of existing and proposed best practices to overcome them
A Cautiously Optimistic Review of the Technical Status of Wave Energy Technology.
The purpose of this review is to provide technical information that should assist policy makers, investors, project developers and other interested stakeholders to make informed decisions regarding the scheduling of wave power into future energy plans and portfolios. Many estimates have already been declared in a variety of prediction documents but they are usually based on energy market forces rather than technology readiness assessment (TRA) of the devices.
It is widely accepted that wave power has the potential to become a significant contributor to the world’s (clean) energy supply needs, as shown by the differing forecasts listed in Table 1. However, it is also the case that in the 1980s WE was expected to be commercial within 5-7 years. This same lead time was further endorsed in 2000 when a new generation of devices were under development. These ambitious time frames have lead to the contradictory perceptions that either the industry is more advanced than it actually is, or it is not really progressing. The true situation is somewhere in-between, so the following device based report should enable more appropriate introduction dates to be specified. Once established it ought to be only the time targets, not the power targets, that may be difficult to achieve.
It is further hoped that the TRA approach will assist in focusing future product funding programmes since the correct support mechanisms are essential if even modified delivery dates are to be met. The device development recommended requirements are summarised in Table 4.1. The actual details of current and required future fiscal policies to stimulate and accelerate project progress are covered in separate Waveplam studies. Here only the on-going principal European and national research projects are described.
To help achieve the objectives, particularly funding packages, a structured device development programme is proposed and this is used as the foundation for setting the machine evolution status. The technical information is presented in the Appendix as developer based specification sheets. This approach will enable the information to be easily updated and expanded as required.