The biggest challenge in the global movement towards 100pc renewables is balancing supply with demand at all times. We need to fill these gaps and remove volatility from the energy system.
With a mix of wind, wave and solar we can create a stable clean energy system which can run all hours of the year, independent of fossil fuel and nuclear support.
“Corpower Ocean is on a mission to supply the planet with clean energy from ocean waves. In order to do this 70 brilliant and stubborn minds from 14 countries around the world have come together, making it the largest and most ambitious effort in wave energy to date.”
Corpower Ocean is on a mission to supply the planet with clean energy from ocean waves. In order to do this 70 brilliant and stubborn minds from 14 countries around the world have come together, making it the largest and most ambitious effort in wave energy to date.
The opportunity we are unlocking in enormous – we are talking about the largest untapped source of clean energy out there – equating to around 500GW. This is the same magnitude of all the world’s hydropower and more than our current nuclear capacity. But what makes wave energy really exciting is the consistent and complementary power production profile it offers enabling the transition to 100pc renewables.
The reason we have not seen commercial wave energy devices on the market until today, is because devices have not been robust enough to withstand the strongest ocean storms while generating enough electricity to create a viable business case.
Previously wave energy converters have either broken in storms or been too large, heavy and costly compared to their power output. However, that picture is radically changing. CorPower Ocean is now introducing of a new brand of high-efficiency wave energy converters, with two key innovations.
Firstly, our devices have a transparency function, similar to pitching the blade of a wind turbine, so in the harshest storms, waves pass by the equipment and the system is unreactive. Secondly, in regular sea states we use advanced phase control technology, which places the device in optimal timing with wave motion to strongly amplify power production. This creates around five times the volume of energy generated from similar sized buoys trialled in the past.
When you put this together you get a large amount of energy through a relatively small, low-cost device which dramatically reduces CAPEX. Our lightweight compact devices are 9metres in diameter with a 300kW rating. They are also easy to transport, install and service with small, low-cost vessels bringing down the OPEX. This all contributes to a competitive cost of energy with a clear path to 30Euros per MWh, together with grid balancing value, bringing greater stability to the entire energy system.
“The opportunity we are unlocking in enormous – we are talking about the largest untapped source of clean energy out there – equating to around 500GW which is the same magnitude of all the world’s hydropower and more than our current nuclear capacity.”
We are proving the physics, the numbers and the survivability in a structed five-stage approach. After more than ten years of rigorous test and development, we are now delivering our first commercial scale device, named the C4 machine. This will be installed in Portugal together with three customers – EDP, ENEL and Simply Blue Group.
The installation will take place at a site called Agucadoura in northern Portugal, where we have also built a dedicated team and assembly facilities in nearby Viana do Castelo. The site is home to our highly unique ‘mobile factory’ concept for production of our composite hulls.
In Stockholm we are building our drivetrains for power take-off in our machine hall where we complete pre-series production. We have further invested in the world’s largest dry test facility where we can simulate the fiercest ocean conditions. In the summer of 2022 we will fully integrate the next generation C4 machine and prepare for ocean deployment.
“What makes wave energy really exciting is the consistent and complementary power production profile it offers enabling the transition to 100pc renewables.”
The product we are offering involves clusters of Wave Energy Converters generating circa 10MW of energy. Our scope of delivery includes full turnkey solutions, with the delivery of buoys, anchoring, cables and electrical connectivity allowing us to ‘plug and play’ with offshore wind. Many of the customers we are working with are looking to combine floating wind with our wave clusters forming hybrid marine energy parks. The systems can share electrical infrastructure and deliver power through the same cable, which is much more stable offering higher value in future markets.
The ocean is the next frontier for renewable energy. Today, CorPower Ocean is the global leader in wave energy offering critical stability to a future zero-carbon world, replacing old solutions like fossil and nuclear.
In recent weeks and days, a series of historic declarations have been signed across Europe to accelerate offshore renewables, unleashing a wave of opportunities in the ocean energy sector.
Early in the month the Norwegian government announced a large-scale investment in offshore wind, allocating sea areas to develop 30GW of capacity by 2040. The ambition is to generate almost as much new power from offshore wind as Norway produces in total today. It marks a significant change in trajectory moving from two current offshore wind turbines in operation today to circa 1500, through a rigorous construction process spanning two decades.
More recently, the European Commission unveiled its REPowerEU initiative, which at its core endorses a massive and accelerated roll-out of renewables. Delivered as a response to the hardships and global energy market disruption caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it marks a clear signal of the increasing desire to escape fossil fuel dependency and rapidly decarbonize. Much of REPowerEU plan focuses on important steps to speed up permitting processes. A new law will recognize renewable energy as ‘an overriding public interest’ enabling renewable projects to be fast-tracked in new ‘Go To’ areas.
Last but not least, Governments heads from Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands took an enormous step towards reaching the EU’s climate neutrality goal by co-signing a joint declaration making the North Sea a ‘green powerhouse’ for Europe. During the North Sea Summit in Esbjerg, the four countries revealed plans to harvest at least 150GW of offshore wind by 2050.
With an avalanche of investment in offshore renewables, the future role of wave energy is coming into sharper focus. While the continued boom in offshore wind and solar is set to underpin the renewable energy transition, it is now becoming better understood that we cannot rely on these technologies alone.
The central challenge for global decarbonisation, hinges on balancing energy supply with demand – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Due to the intermittency of wind and solar, it is simply not capable of delivering clean electricity round the clock.
In addition to long duration storage, complementary and consistent clean generation technologies like wave energy can play a key role to plug the voids of wind and solar. In fact, with wave being anti-correlated, the right mix of wave, wind and solar power will virtually match annual supply to demand profile in real time – strongly reducing the need for storage.
In this sense, wave energy can provide the final piece of the puzzle on route to 100pc renewables, supplementing both Europe and the North Sea region’s future renewable energy systems. While the technology aligns well with the vision for the North Sea Marine Spatial Plan it can also count on stakeholder support from other sea space users.
Upon these firm foundations there is now every opportunity for Europe to lead the way and showcase the full potential of combined wind, wave and solar arrays – while ensuring security of supply and enabling sustainable growth opportunities for coastal economies at large.