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Sensitivity of wave energy to climate change

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2 Author(s)
Harrison, G.P. ; Sch. of Eng. & Electron., Univ. of Edinburgh, UK ; Wallace, A.R.

Wave energy will have a key role in meeting renewable energy targets en route to a low carbon economy. However, in common with other renewables, it may be sensitive to changes in climate resulting from rising carbon emissions. Changes in wind patterns are widely anticipated, and this will ultimately alter wave regimes. Indeed, evidence indicates that wave heights have been changing over the last 40 years, although there is no proven link to global warming. Changes in the wave climate will affect wave energy conversion. Where the resource is restricted, there may be reductions in energy exports and, consequently, negative economic impacts. On the other hand, increased storm activity will increase installation survival risks. Here a study is presented that, for the first time, indicates the sensitivity of wave energy production and economics to changes in climate.

Published in:

Energy Conversion, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 4 )