About Wave Energy

About Wave Energy:

  • Global wave energy electricity capacity is potentially as large as presently installed hydro power and likely larger than presently installed nuclear power.
  • The raw wave energy resource is measured in average power per unit crest length, e.g. kW/m or kW/km.
  • Ireland and UK (Cornwall & Scotland) have some of the highest average power per unit crest length values in the world. Annual averages as high as 80kW/m in some locations.
  • Ireland has an estimated 850km long 50kW/m wave power contour (Source: Irish Wave Energy Atlas, ESBI & SEAI). That is a raw power input average of 42.5GW and a raw energy input of 372.5TWh per annum.
  • At present total Irish annual electricity consumption is around 26TWh per annum. The ultimate technically achievable electricity production from wave energy in Ireland is about equal to present consumption.
  • It is estimated that the wave energy resource around the coast of the United Kingdom could meet 15% to 25% of current UK electricity demand. Related energy sales would be circa £2.5bn p.a. (excluding subsidies) and related technology and engineering sales would be circa £20-£30bn.
  • Wave energy is a relatively constant and highly predictable form of renewable energy.
  • Wave energy is environmentally benign with many high quality environmental studies showing that on balance wave energy technology has either a positive or neutral impact on the environment.
  • Studies indicate that the cost of wave energy is lower than the historical cost of wind energy at comparable levels of maturity. (EPRI, 2005)

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