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The Impact of Several Criteria on Site Selection for Wave Energy Conversion in the North Sea

Date: November 04, 2013 at 16:59 GMT

The interest in wave energy is rising. Several concepts have been proposed and tested and even a few are reaching a commercial stage (e.g. Pelamis in Portugal). The selection of an optimal location is a prerequisite to make wave energy conversion feasible.
A comparative assessment between minimal cost and maximal production of a farm of wave energy converters should be made while considering other use of the oceans. In general a geo-spatial multicriteria analysis, in which several factors are weighed against each other, is performed to obtain the best location for wave energy conversion.
In this paper the impact of the weight of several factors on site selection for a hypothetical farm of wave energy converters in the southern part of the North Sea, is studied with a GIS-based (Geographical Information System) MCDA (Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis) approach. Most factors, such as distance to the coastline, distance to the grid, distance to the harbour, extreme wave climate and montly variation of the wave
climate have a high score for a location near the coast. Only the factor “amount of wave power”, gives preference to a location further from the coast, as the amount of available wave power is increasing. When the proportion between the factor “amount of wave power” and the other factors is smaller than approximately 0.75, locations near the coast have a higher score. The importance of the factor “amount of wave power” relative to all other factors determines the optimal location. 

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