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Site Selection Methodology for combined wind and ocean energy technologies in Europe

Date: November 05, 2013 at 17:15 GMT

As offshore wind installations move into deeper waters they can be subject to more extreme wave conditions. There are thus opportunities to maximise the power output from a wind turbine structure by integrating it with Wave Energy Convertors (WECs) as obvious synergies exist between wind and ocean energy technologies. The EU FP7 Project “Offshore Renewable Energy Conversion Platforms – Coordinated Action” (ORECCA) was funded with a view to providing an initial examination at the potential for combining these renewable technologies. The results of this project provide a platform from which to begin more detailed research in this area.
One aspect of the ORECCA work considered where the combined wind and ocean energy resources exist in Europe and this paper outlines the site selection process that was implemented to identify the most promising development regions. The methodology included the development of a GIS that incorporated data on offshore renewable energy resource (wind, wave and tidal), infrastructure and bathymetry. This was used in conjunction with national resource maps, feed in tariff rates and numerous other factors to apply a multi-criteria analysis that determined not only the locations with the best combined resource but also those which had the most complete package in terms of the future development of the industry. 

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