A 35 year high-resolution wave atlas for nearshore energy production and economics at the Aegean Sea

Highlights

High-resolution nearshore wave power atlas of the Aegean Sea from 1980 to 2014.

Calibration, and nearshore model configuration.

Energy modelling, optimal WEC selection according to production.

Suitable to resource WECs can achieve utilisation rates up to 20%.

Amortization is achieved for WECs below 2.5 million Euro CAPEX.

Abstract

The study enhances the coastal resource knowledge and discusses opportunities for wave energy in the Aegean Sea. A fine-resolution numerical wave model is utilised to provide results for the Greek coastal regions. The model ran for 35 years (1980–2014) estimating wave characteristics, and quantifying the wave energy potential in coastal areas. The results deliver the energy potential, variability, and site characterisation for the Aegean Sea.

The dataset is coupled with wave energy converters power matrices to provide for the first time a long-term analysis of expected power production. Performance of devices is highly dependent on matching the power matrix to the local resource, suitable devices can obtain capacity factor up to 20% and favour operation for low wave heights and high frequencies.

Based on energy analysis data, an economic performance and payback period of a hypothetical wave farm is examined. With little information on wave energy in the region, this preliminary cost-to-benefit analysis shows the viability of wave converters. Even with high capital expenditure associated with novel technologies, certain scenarios achieve amortization periods at 7.5 years for a properly selected converter. Results are comparable with previous renewable schemes aimed at increasing the cumulative installation of other early stage technologies.

Keywords

  • Aegean Sea;
  • Numerical wave model;
  • Wave climate;
  • Wave power;
  • Energy economics

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