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Quantifying the Potential Global Market for Wave Power

Date: November 05, 2013 at 17:29 GMT

Deployments of Wave Energy Converters (WECs) have been focused in European waters where the resource has been wellquantified. However, to justify large-scale deployment,
detailed understanding of the distribution and size of the potential worldwide market is required. 

Two figures are generally quoted: 1-10TW or 2TW. These numbers are demonstrated to be inadequate as the basis for a wave energy industry, given both their derivation and lack of geographic detail. Here, outputs from the WaveWatch III model were analysed to calculate the wave power across the globe. The power flowing to land as calculated and summed for countries, continents, hemispheres, and the entire globe. Using the Pelamis power matrix, an estimate of the power available to current-generation WECs was also derived. The global wave energy resource is estimated as 2.11TW, of which 4.6% can be extracted by WECs. 

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