Yes, Inform me when...

The Potential for Wave Energy in the North Sea

Date: October 08, 2013 at 23:01 GMT

Abstract: The North Sea has not yet been regarded as prime area for wave energy development in Europe except in Denmark, Benelux and Germany. The reason is the relatively low intensity of waves (12- 17kW/m) compared to the Atlantic with a wave climate of 24-48kW/m. Further on the design wave load is almost as in the Atlantic and the distance to shore relatively long compared to sites with good wave climate like Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the west coast of UK.

The increasing activities within offshore wind in the North Sea and the attempt to build a super grid connecting the wind sites with the major consumers around the North Sea are expected to change the priority in favour of utilising wave energy from the North Sea.

The paper describes the opportunities for power production in the North Sea considering the competition for space and the synergy with offshore wind. Two approaches are used: a traditional national approach using very modest assumptions about how to establish a first generation of wave energy producing devices connected at a national level; and a trans-national cooperation approach taking into account the existence of a grid connecting several wind farms in the North Sea area. The former approach is resulting in a prediction of a yearly production of 23TWh; the latter is estimating a yearly production of 77TWh. 

This equals to 6% of the electricity demand around the North Sea, where the annual electricity consumption is about 1,300TWh. 

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.