This paper presents an outlook of the development of wave energy (WE) in Europe. Growth projections are adapted from experience in onshore and offshore wind. Costs are broken-down into components and experience curves are applied. The levelized cost of energy (LCOE) is calculated and compared with other technologies using the EGC model described by of the IEA. World Energy Outlook 2009 projections are used for CO2 and fossil fuel prices to 2030.
The reference scenario depict 0,7GW installed in the EU in 2020, 11GW in 2030 and 80GW installed by 2050 leading to a decrease of the LCOE to 22c€/kWh, 9.4c€/kWh and 4.8c€/kWh respectively (€2008). Without externalities, WE could be competitive around 2030 compared to fossil-fuel generated electricity, or shortly after if CCS technologies become a reality. If local externalities (SO2, NOx, NMVOC and PM2.5) are accounted, WE would be competitive before 2030 in all scenarios. Several assumptions are described to obtain the results.
Other potentially significant externalities and macroeconomic impacts both in favour and against WE are not included in the results, due to the uncertainty associated and the scope of this study, but results in literature show that it would even advance more the competitiveness of WE.