Illustration (Courtesy of EU-SCORES)

Wave energy to rival offshore wind costs by 2030s, study shows

A study led by European universities has shown that wave energy could rival the cost-effectiveness of offshore wind by the 2030s at favorable locations.

Illustration (Courtesy of EU-SCORES)

Experts from LUT University in Finland and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have conducted a techno-economic assessment of global and regional wave energy resources.

According to European Scalable Offshore Renewable Energy Sources, or EU-SCORES, the study uses real data from an advanced wave energy converter that is being commercialized, addressing the global impact potential of wave energy.

The study concludes that wave power will be cost-competitive with offshore wind within a decade, with a levelized cost of electricity (LCoE) below 70 €/MWh by 2035, said EU-SCORES. 

‘’Collaborating with LUT shows that by combining interdisciplinary expertise, we can unveil the global potential of wave energy, and accelerate the Energy Transition’, said George Lavidas, Assistant Professor for Marine Renewables at TU Delft.

Mid-term projections suggest wave power can achieve an LCoE below 100 €/MWh by 2030, generating 39,700 TWh of electricity. By 2050, the LCoE could drop below 50 €/MWh, providing 29,000 TWh of electricity.

The study shows that wave power can diversify energy sources, complementing solar energy by generating more in winter and less in summer. Despite higher costs, wave power can reduce the need for medium-term and seasonal storage, lowering overall system costs, said EU-SCORES.

The findings are especially relevant for densely populated countries and regions with limited onshore renewable energy potential, which would otherwise rely on energy imports.

“We’re thrilled to publish our flagship paper on wave energy following an excellent collaboration with colleagues at Delft University of Technology,” said Christian Breyer, Professor of Solar Economy at LUT University.

In April 2023, the EU-SCORES project, focused on developing energy multi-use parks incorporating different offshore renewable energy sources at one site, received an official go-ahead from the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA).

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