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Analysis and forecasts of the cost of energy of ocean energy converters

Posted 2018-08-30 in News

Currently, ocean energy technologies are not competitive enough with conventional power generation technologies and there is a distance between other renewable energy technologies such as photovoltaic or onshore wind.

A number of different prototypes are now in operation and first arrays are under deployment or planned. This clearly shows an interest for developing ocean energy technologies but it is not so clear the interest of investors in deploying commercial projects, mainly due to the uncertainties about the return of investments, i.e. cost of energy.

In 2014, OES started a project with the objective of contributing to the state of the art in knowledge of LCOE and cost reduction for Ocean Energy technologies. In May 2015, the OES published a first study focused on Wave, Tidal stream and OTEC, which showed that whilst progress has been made, the cost-reduction rate and technology deployment have been below the expectations in the sector.

The OES has decided now to produce a new LCOE study for all ocean energy technologies aiming at providing a clear picture of the current costs for ocean energy generation and how these are likely to reduce over time. For that purpose, a data collection process from different technologies and projects in different countries will be carried out.

We encourage you to participate in this process: if you are an active actor in the sector, you will probably receive a questionnaire soon, but in any case you can contact us at for further information.

Based on the information received, cost targets will be addressed for different ocean energy technologies. Moreover, targets per cost component (CAPEX, OPEX…) will be proposed out using a reverse LCOE approach.

The first study of this Task published in May 2015 is available for download

The OES is organised under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA) but is functionally and legally autonomous. Views, findings and
publications of the OES do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or its individual member countries.