Project outputs

Three key studies have been undertaken throughout the EVOLVE project, examining:

·       The practical deployment potential for wave and tidal stream technologies in the EVOLVE regions of interest: Great Britain, Ireland and Portugal.

·       The quantifiable system benefits (in terms of economics, carbon reduction and power system operation) of wave and tidal stream
deployments in the EVOLVE regions of interest and;

·       The potential role of wave and tidal stream within 100% renewable islanded systems, utilising the Orkney Islands, Scotland, as a case study.

A review of practical deployment locations for European ocean energy projects
  • The EVOLVE spatial modelling study focused on three regions: Great Britain, Ireland and Portugal, identifying close to 60GW of practically viable wave energy and 10GW of tidal stream energy. More specifically, results show resources of 34.8GW in Great Britain, 18.8GW in Ireland and 15.5GW in Portugal.
  • Aquatera’s RADMApp GIS modelling tool was used to identify suitable areas for the deployment of wave and tidal stream devices, with scoring criteria applied over four layers: technical, cost, environmental and other sea users. The final results are based on a multiplicative combination strategy of these layers to produce an overall suitability score.
  • For tidal stream energy devices, areas of suitability have been found to be focused around the British Coastline and around Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland.  For tidal stream energy, GB is expected to have a practical suitability up to 10.4GW and Ireland is expected to have 240-630 MW, with Portugal not having a high enough tidal technical resource to be considered for this study.
  • For wave energy devices, results reveal that northern and western Scottish waters, southwest England and Wales, the west of Ireland and around Lisbon and the northwest of Portugal have the highest suitability. Overall, the results reveal practical suitability of 24.8 GW in Great Britain, 18.8 GW Ireland and 15.5 GW in Portugal for wave energy devices.
The system benefits of ocean energy to European power systems
  • Including wave and tidal stream energy within European power systems leads to system benefits in terms of increased renewable dispatch, decreased carbon emissions, decreased dispatch costs and decreased curtailment volumes.
  • Dispatch models have been created for three European regions of interest: Great Britain, Portugal, and Ireland. The study findings are consistent between these regions: increasing the proportion of ocean energy within the renewable mix of these power systems results in higher renewable dispatch for the same renewable energy availability, due to the offsetting of wave and tidal with wind and solar generation.
  • The ability to dispatch more renewables results in lower fossil fuel and peaking plant dispatch, and thus scenarios including higher proportions of ocean energy result in lower dispatch costs and lower carbon emissions. The annual cost reduction results presented are up to £1.46bn, from 10GW of wave in GB in 2040, and the annual carbon reduction results presented are up to 1.06MtCO2 from 10GW of wave in GB in 2030.
  • It has also been found that ocean energy is able to capture over double the wholesale price of wind, as the offsetting in resource means that wave and tidal energy can capture high wholesale prices at times of low wind availability.
The system benefits of ocean energy to islanded power systems
  • The integration of wave and tidal stream energy can lead to power system benefits for 100% renewable islanded systems, compared with only making use of more established technologies such as solar and wind.
  • Using historical demand and renewable availability profiles from the Orkney Islands as a case study, it has been found that scenarios including wave and tidal stream require up to 30% less installed capacity and 50% less storage to meet demand, compared with scenarios only including wind and solar.
  • The total system cost (capital and operational costs) is up to 20% lower when including ocean energy within the 100% renewable mix, despite wave and tidal having the highest cost of all renewable sources, due to the additional value of their complementary generation profiles.
  • Grid efficiency is also improved when including wave and tidal stream are included within the mix, with lower excess generation needing to be stored or curtailed, and lower hour-to-hour variations in power production, quantified by the standard deviation.

This analysis is particularly meaningful as there are very few studies that quantify the system benefits associated with including ocean energy within country-scale power systems, and no studies that do so over quite so many metrics. These results will be of interest to various stakeholders across the sector: technology and project developers, academic and industrial researchers, and grid operators and policy makers looking to develop future decarbonised systems whilst maintaining security of supply.

To watch the final EVOLVE project seminar in full follow the link here.

Short summary report for project developers available here.

Short summary report for policy makers available here.

The following scientific papers have been published:

  • S. Pennock, D. R. Noble, Y. Vardanyan, T. Delahaye, and H. Jeffrey, ‘A modelling framework to quantify the power system benefits from ocean energy deployments’, Applied Energy, vol. 347, p. 121413, Oct. 2023, doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2023.121413.
  • M. Vicente, A. Imperadore, F. X. Correia da Fonseca, M. Vieira and J. Candido, ‘Enhancing Islanded Power Systems: Microgrid Modeling and Evaluating System Benefits of Ocean Renewable Energy Integration’, Energies 2023, vol. 16(22), p.7517, Nov. 2023, doi: 10.3399/en16227517.