A new report from LUT University Finland has highlighted the pivotal role of wave energy in achieving a cost-effective net zero energy system. According to the research findings, the UK should aim to harness 27GW of wave energy to realize this ambitious goal.

This report coincides with a significant milestone for Swedish developer CorPower who recently announced the successful commissioning of its first full-scale wave energy device.

The report from LUT University delved into various scenarios for the UK and Ireland to transition to a 100% renewable energy system by 2050. Among these scenarios, one stood out: harnessing 27GW of wave energy capacity. This capacity is deemed essential to meet the burgeoning electricity demands projected to triple by 2050 while ensuring the lowest cost for a net zero energy system.

CorPower Ocean's breakthrough, marked by the successful deployment of its C4 machine off the coast of northern Portugal, addresses historical challenges faced by wave energy technologies, including survivability in storm conditions and efficient power generation in normal sea states.

“CorPower Ocean’s commercial-scale breakthroughs in Portugal, demonstrates that wave energy is ready to realise its crucial role in a secure and cost-effective transition to net zero,” commented Marine Energy Council Policy Director Richard Arnold. “LUT University’s compelling report reinforces the importance of wave energy in the UK’s energy transition. The UK has the maritime expertise, offshore engineering experience and supply chains to lead the world in harnessing wave energy. It is critical that the UK Government provides a clear route to market and supports the wave energy industry investing in coastal communities and beyond.”

The Marine Energy Council, advocating for consistent support and ambitious targets, urges for at least 300MW of wave energy deployment by 2035. This call comes in the wake of the organization's recent testimony to the UK Government’s Energy Security and Net Zero Select Committee, emphasizing the opportunity to embed UK content in marine energy projects.

Anders Jansson, Head of Business Development at CorPower Ocean, hailed the recent progress as an inflection point for wave energy, signaling its readiness for widescale adoption. “We’ve taken giant leaps in recent years to prove wave energy technology at commercial scale. Our latest progression marks a crucial milestone for the sector addressing the two major obstacles which have hampered commercial adoption to date – survivability and efficient power generation in normal ocean conditions,” he said.

LUT University's research, as detailed in their recent publication, underscores the economic attractiveness of wave power for the entire energy system. The report emphasizes the need for a comprehensive renewable energy mix, including wind, solar, wave, tidal, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower, to achieve 100% renewable energy. Researchers believe a fossil-nuclear approach with less sustainability and higher costs can be avoided.