When you consider the expanse of the world’s oceans no one should be surprised that the theoretical potential for electricity generated from ocean energy is several times total global energy demand. Of course, that potential needs to be harnessed at commercial prices. Francisco Boshell, Roland Roesch, Alessandra Salgado and Judit Hecke at IRENA run through the technologies used to extract energy from tides and waves, the potential near-term capacity, and pathways to make costs competitive. Although costs are high today – €0.47/kWh or more – continued advancements could see the LCOE drop to under €0.15/kWh by 2030. Innovative business models that combine generation with aquaculture, desalination and other income streams may be needed too. It’s very early days, with installed capacity across all ocean energy technologies a modest 535 MW today. They note that European companies are global leaders in ocean energy technologies, with ambitions to deliver 100GW and 400,000 jobs by 2050. They draw particular attention to the opportunity for small island nations, where water is everywhere, land is scarce, and imported fuel is expensive.
Energy Post 3rd June 2020 read more »