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Uncertainty in wave energy market

Insufficient knowledge, funding issues, political will and general uncertainty trouble the wave energy market according to a survey conducted by Seaview Sensing, a UK company specialising in software providing real-time, met-ocean information on wave, wind and currents.

Almost three quarters (72%) thought they need to learn more about waves, of the 246 participants from all over the world with the US ranking as the country with the most wave energy interest closely followed by Continental Europe and the UK.

The reasons given included:

  • “Buoy data are not extensive enough nor are data sets complete nor standardised, to optimise the weather window for installation activities”;
  • “Poor access to accurate data”;
  • “A whole host of reasons ranging from wave energy, wave shadowing, flood defence, coastal erosion”; and
  • “To evaluate energy yield from sites we need wave data”.

In terms of industry issues, funding was seen to be the biggest although 35 respondents thought political will was the biggest issue. Respondents listing this issue were based predominantly in the US and UK.

Political will was very closely followed by grid connection. Contacts listing grid connection as the main issue were also based predominantly in the UK with others in the US, Italy, Canada, The Netherlands and Taiwan.

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