THE UK’s Energy Technologies Institute has given the green light to an £8million project that will produce tools capable of accurately estimating the energy yield of major wave and tidal-stream energy devices.
Performance Assessment of Wave & Tidal Array Systems (PerAWaT), a project led by Garrad Hassan and including EDF Energy, EON and Edinburgh, Oxford, Queen’s Belfast and Manchester universities, will develop a series of models to predict the performance of wave and tidal-stream generator arrays.
The view at ETI is that, although the UK has huge marine potential, investment is being held back by uncertainty about the overall costs involved and the potential returns on investment in wave and tidal technologies.
The project will build on existing knowledge to accelerate the development of sophisticated tools that will become essential as the marine energy industry matures.
According to Garrad Hassan, marine renewables group leader, Robert Rawlinson-Smith, deployment of large- scale arrays of marine energy conversion devices will occur only when project developers have sufficient confidence in the return on their investment.
By accelerating deployment rates, the project will directly address the ETI Marine Programme outcome goal of increasing deployment to two gigawatts by 2020 and 30GW by 2050.
There is currently no software package or validated method of estimating the average annual energy production of a wave or tidal-stream energy farm.