Technology Prospects of Wave Power Systems

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Datos de publicación:
Electronic Journal of Energy & Environment, Vol. 2, Nº 1, 47-69, 2014
Energía mareomotriz - Energía - Energía renovable - Energías alternativas
In this work, a comparative overview of wave power technologies is carried out. Although wave energy resource is theoretically enormous, it is only located in certain areas of the globe where sufficiently high wave power potential exists. These areas are the western seaboard of Europe, the northern coast of the UK and the pacific coastlines of North and South America, Southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, the highest potential exists in deep ocean waters, many kilometers offshore. Therefore, only a fraction of the wave energy resource can be harnessed by current wave energy technologies. Currently, wave power technologies are neither mature nor have become widely commercialized. Although these technologies can cover onshore, near-shore and offshore applications, the vast majority of wave energy devices developed today from these technologies is still in prototype demonstration stage. It is, therefore, too early to predict which of these technologies will become the most prevalent one for future commercialization. Currently the major obstacles towards wave energy commercialization are the high capital costs of wave energy devices (translated into high electricity unit costs for power generation) and the adverse working weather conditions that these devices have to endure, requiring additional safety features which results in escalation of the capital costs. With the future commercialisation of the wave power systems the operating costs are expected to reduce leading towards the competitiveness of this technology.