ABSTRACT

This paper explores the variability of wave power in space and time using a 42-year high-resolution hindcast wave model from the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service for the North-West European shelf. We calculate the wave energy flux using significant wave height and wave energy period. To improve wave power assessment, we use knowledge about mean wavelengths and bathymetry, which is necessary given the nature of the intermediate and shallow waters in the region. The results provide monthly, seasonal, and inter-annual estimates of wave power variability based on 122,728 modeled wave measurements. The study advances the understanding of wave energy resources within the domain.

INTRODUCTION

Marine renewable energy technologies are becoming more popular as they provide new solutions for clean energy generation. In addition to designing an instrumental base as a tool for energy extraction, such as wave energy converters (WECs), it is critical to assess the available wave power resources, both spatially and temporally. This ensures the successful development of the optimal design and deployment of multiple devices in the marine environment, resulting in cost reductions, and the accurate estimation of energy costs, which builds developer and investor confidence in WEC technology.

A thorough understanding of wave energy resources is a critical foundation for the renewable energy industry. Indeed, there has been a growing trend in interest in exploring wave energy resources in recent decades at both global and local scales. In the literature, a significant amount of research is aimed at studying the energy potential of waves. We link to several key global (Cornett, 2008; Gunn et al., 2012; Reguero, 2015; Reguero et al., 2019) as well as regional-level publications (Winter, 1980; Neil, Hashemi, 2013; Santo et al., 2015). Furthermore, we emphasize the overview of numerous research works for the study region published in (Lavendis and Venugopal, 2018). It is also necessary to note the Atlas of UK Marine Renewable Energy Resources (Atlas, 2008), which has already achieved classic status. While these works are of fundamental importance, there remain considerable drawbacks related to the models' low detail (primarily on a global scale) or limited spatial and/or temporal resolution (regional scale studies).

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