The theoretical ocean wave energy resource potential exceeds 50% of the annual domestic energy demand of the United States, is located close to coastal population centers, and, although variable in nature, may be more consistent and predictable than some other renewable generation technologies. As a renewable electricity generation technology, ocean wave energy offers a low air pollutant option for diversifying the U.S. electricity generation portfolio. Furthermore, the output characteristics of these technologies may complement other renewable technologies.
This study addresses the following:
(1) The theoretical, technical and practical potential for electricity generation from wave energy
(2) The present lifecycle cost profile (Capex, Opex, and Cost of Electricity) of wave energy conversion technology at a reference site in Northern California at different plant scales
(3) Cost of electricity variations as a function of deployment site, considering technical, geo-spatial and and electric grid constraints
(4) Technology cost reduction pathways
(5) Cost reduction targets at which the technology will see significant deployment within US markets, explored through a series of deployment scenarios
RE Vision Consulting, LLC (RE Vision), engaged in various analyses to establish current and future cost profiles for marine hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies, quantified the theoretical, technical and practical resource potential, performed electricity market assessments and developed deployment scenarios. RE Vision was supported in this effort by NREL analysts, who compiled resource information, performed analysis using the ReEDSa model to develop deployment scenarios, and developed a simplified assessment of the Alaska and Hawaii electricity markets.