New research by the Carbon Trust reveals that the waters off Cornwall and the west of Scotland, off Lewis and Uist, are the UK’s wave power hot spots.
These areas on the edge of the UK’s continental shelf, some 100 km offshore, are the most economically suitable locations in which to develop wave energy.
In these offshore areas, wave devices would maximise energy capture from Atlantic swells.
If exploited, sites in these locations could generate power from waves around 50% cheaper than current developments at a cost of 20-25.3 p/kWh.
“If we can continue to innovate to prove the technology at scale and to bring down costs then there is every reason to believe that wave power can be providing a significant contribution to our energy needs out to 2050,” says Stephen Wyatt of the Carbon Trust.
While UK waters offer a potential total resource of 230 TWh/year, the Carbon Trust’s estimates indicate that wave energy devices could extract a total of up to 95 TWh a year. Of that, some 32-42 TWh per year – or over 10 GW of wave energy capacity – is technically and economically realistic to extract.
If wave farms of some 500 km in length could be installed to deliver 42 TWh a year, it could provide 11% of the UK’s current power generation requirements.
For further information:
UK waters hold potential for 118 GW of wave and tidal capacity (12-Oct)
Scottish Government awards £7.9 million to tidal and wave developers (6-Sept)
Marine Energy Park launches in Scottish waters (2-Aug)
17 October 2012