International LCOE for Ocean Energy Technology

An analysis of the development pathway and Levelised Cost Of Energy trajectories of wave, tidal and OTEC technologies

This study was commissioned by Ocean Energy Systems (OES) and developed by an international team.

Wave, Tidal Stream and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) technologies have been the subject of much research both nationally and internationally. While much development has taken place, the technologies have not yet realised commercial array scale deployment. Energy system modelling to incorporate future technological advances is based around a series of assumptions which attempt to present potential pathways for new energy technologies to emerge and become established as a part of the wider energy mix. In order to enhance existing energy system modelling, a thorough investigation of the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) for wave, tidal and OTEC technologies has been undertaken.

This assessment draws upon industry’s state of the art knowledge around the costs to deploy and operate each technology in its current state, and the cost reductions that are foreseen on the route to product commercialisation.

Each technology under consideration within this report is at a different stage of development, and presents its own unique challenges. In addition, the likely scale of technology varies between wave, tidal and OTEC, with the latter more likely to be deployed as a large-scale multi-MW power plant (similar to conventional thermal power generation) in comparison to the modular design of wave and tidal stream technologies.

Engagement with relevant stakeholders in a number of OES Member countries has allowed an international context to be provided for each technology. As a result, mean values across a range of parameters have been obtained as a representative of the average across the industry as a whole.

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