The Future of Marine Technologies: Technology developments, key costs and the future outlook

Date: January 22, 2010
Pages: 146
Price:
US$ 2,875.00
Publisher: Business Insights
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF), Hard Copy Mail Delivery, CD-ROM Mail Delivery
ID: F7E7B46742DEN
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The Future of Marine Technologies: Technology developments, key costs and the future outlook
Many of the world's potential renewable energy resources are being exploited today to generate electricity. The main exception is marine energy, the energy contained in various forms in the world's seas and oceans. This situation looks set to change as the challenge of combating global warming inspires a renewed search for methods to extract marine energy from our seas. Wave power and systems that can exploit the movement of water generated by the tides are attracting the most attention but methods for using the warm seas in the tropics to produce electricity and even the attempts to extract energy released when salt and fresh water mix are now coming under the gaze of scientists and technicians too. Some of the resulting technologies remain far from commercial implementation but several are now close to commercialization.

With all but tidal barrage power plants still in an early stage of development and no commercial plants of any other type in operation, assessing the economics of marine power generation technologies today depends on projections based on early prototypes of early demonstration units. Today these are generally more costly than alternative forms of power generation, both conventional and renewable. However the example of the wind power market shows that costs can fall dramatically as both technology improves and economies of scale are realized. Some early predictions suggest that some marine technologies might be cheaper than wind power but the level of uncertainty in such predictions is high.

Key features of this report

  • Analysis of marine technologies concepts and components.
  • Assessment of marine technologies power plant market.
  • Insight relating to the most innovative technologies and potential areas of opportunity for manufacturers.
  • Examination of the key technology introductions and innovations.


  • Scope of this report

  • Realize up to date competitive intelligence through a comprehensive review of marine technologies concepts in electricity power generation markets.
  • Assess the emerging trends in marine technologies – including ocean thermal energy conversion, wave power generation and tidal stream technologies, tidal barrage power plants, salinity gradient power generation.
  • Identify which key trends will offer the greatest growth potential and learn which technology trends are likely to allow greater market impact.
  • Compare how manufacturers are developing new marine technologies


  • Key Market Issues

  • Environmental requirements:- The volume of fossil fuels burnt for power and heat generation have continually grown in line with economic, infrastructure and population growth. The resulting growth of carbon dioxide emissions globally has been linked to global warming and thereon climate change. Political, environmentalist and consumer pressures to lower carbon emissions is creating a path for lower carbon emitting power generation technologies.
  • Ocean energy resources:- The energy that can be derived from the world's oceans and converted into electrical power comes from a number of different sources. These include daily tidal motions, the energy contained in waves, a variety of ocean and sea currents and by exploitation of both thermal and salinity gradients where these exist. Estimates for the amount of power that can be extracted from the oceans depend on assumptions about the energy content of the particular source being exploited as well as the efficiency of extraction of energy that can be achieved by an energy converter.
  • Economics of clean thermal technologies:- With all but tidal barrage power plants still in an early stage of development and no commercial plants of any other type in operation, assessing the economics of marine power generation technologies today depends on projections based on early prototypes of early demonstration units.


  • Key findings from this report

  • New types of marine power generation technologies are evolving that are designed to use freely available resources and collect energy outputting low level pollutant emissions.
  • Wave power is again potentially the largest resource, with the potential to provide between 1,000GW and 10,000GW of generating capacity.
  • The strongest winds and the largest waves are generally found between 30º and 60º of latitude.
  • Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion technologies have among the lowest of all life cycle carbon emissions.
  • Certain forms of marine technology generation are already cost competitive with alternative forms of energy generation.


  • Key questions answered

  • What are the drivers shaping and influencing marine technology development in the electricity industry?
  • What are the life cycle carbon emissions of the various marine technologies?
  • What is marine technology power generation going to cost?
  • Which marine technology types will be the winners and which the losers in terms power generated, cost and viability?

  • The Future of Marine Technologies
    Executive summary 10
    Introduction 10
    Ocean energy resources 10
    Ocean thermal energy conversion 11
    Wave power generation 11
    Tidal stream technologies 12
    Tidal barrage power plants 12
    Salinity gradient power generation 13
    The economics of marine power generation 13
    The prospects for marine power generation technologies 13

    CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

    Summary 16
    Marine energy resources 17
    Energy capture technologies 18
    The structure of the report 20

    CHAPTER 2 OCEAN ENERGY RESOURCES

    Introduction 22
    Global resource levels 23
    Wave energy 27
    Tidal power 30
    Thermal gradient 32
    Salinity gradient 33
    Mapping marine resources 33

    CHAPTER 3 OCEAN THERMAL ENERGY CONVERSION

    Introduction 36
    Background 37
    Heat engine efficiency 39
    OTEC configurations 41
    Open cycle OTEC 43
    OTEC projects 44
    Major challenges and developments 46
    Environmental considerations 47
    Economics 49

    CHAPTER 4 WAVE POWER GENERATION

    Introduction 54
    History of wave energy capture 56
    Types of wave energy capture device 57
    Shore line and near shore devices 58
    Oscillating water columns 58
    Tapered channels and overtopping devices 59
    Oscillating flaps 60
    Offshore wave energy converters 61
    Floats, wave pumps and swings 61
    Snakes, ducks and pontoons 62
    Piezo-electric converters 63
    Intermittency and wave energy 63
    Wave energy pilot projects 64
    Environmental impact 67
    Economics 68

    CHAPTER 5 TIDAL STREAM TECHNOLOGIES

    Introduction 74
    Tidal stream energy 75
    Tidal stream technology 78
    Horizontal axis tidal stream turbines 80
    Vertical axis tidal stream turbines 83
    Cross flow turbines 84
    Hydrofoils 84
    Other tidal current systems 85
    Tidal stream pilot projects 86
    Environmental considerations 88
    The economics of tidal stream power generation 89

    CHAPTER 6 TIDAL BARRAGE POWER PLANTS

    Introduction 94
    Tidal barrage principles 98
    Bunded reservoirs and tidal lagoons 100
    Tidal turbines 101
    Tidal barrages 102
    Seawater pumped storage 103
    Tidal barrage projects 104
    Environmental considerations 105
    The economics of tidal barrages 107

    CHAPTER 7 SALINITY GRADIENT POWER GENERATION

    Introduction 110
    Extracting power from a salinity gradient 111
    Osmotic power 111
    Vapor compression 112
    Hydrocratic generation 113
    Reversed electrodialysis 113
    Environmental considerations 114
    Costs 115

    CHAPTER 8 THE ECONOMICS OF MARINE POWER GENERATION

    Introduction 118
    Comparisons with wind energy 119
    Installed cost of marine technologies 121
    Cost of electricity from marine power generation technologies 122

    CHAPTER 9 THE PROSPECTS FOR MARINE POWER GENERATION TECHNOLOGIES

    Introduction 128
    Comparative costs of power generation 129
    Wave and tidal stream power 136
    Tidal barrage power plants 139
    Ocean thermal energy technology 140
    Salinity gradient power generation 143
    Conclusions 143
    Index 145

    LIST OF FIGURES

    Figure 2.1: Ocean energy resources, (TWh/y) 24
    Figure 2.2: Ocean energy potential generating capacity, (GW) 26
    Figure 2.3: US wave energy potential, (TWh/y) 29
    Figure 2.4: US tidal current potential, (TWh/y) 31
    Figure 3.5: Theoretical OTEC efficiencies 40
    Figure 3.6: Life cycle carbon dioxide emissions from OTEC plants 48
    Figure 3.7: Costs for a 100MW floating OTEC plant 51
    Figure 4.8: Annual wave energy content for different regions, (kW/m) 55
    Figure 4.9: Estimated installation costs for wave energy converters 69
    Figure 4.10: Estimated cost of electricity from wave energy plants 70
    Figure 5.11: Tidal current turbine size required to sweep out a power density of 1MW at different current speeds 76
    Figure 5.12: Water current power swept out by a 10m diameter turbine at different current speeds 78
    Figure 5.13: Estimated installed cost ($/kW) of tidal stream generation in North America 92
    Figure 6.14: Tidal reach at best global sites, (m) 95
    Figure 6.15: Global tidal sites with largest energy potential 97
    Figure 8.16: Cost estimates for generation in the UK (£/kW) 124
    Figure 9.17: Comparative installed cost of generating technologies (£/kW), UK 131
    Figure 9.18: Cost of electricity from competing technologies (£/MWh), UK 132
    Figure 9.19: Levelized cost of electricity from competing technologies ($/MWh), California 134
    Figure 9.20: Island states with potential OTEC 142

    LIST OF TABLES

    Table 2.1: Ocean energy resources, (TWh/y) 23
    Table 2.2: Ocean energy potential generating capacity, (GW) 25
    Table 2.3: US wave energy potential, (TWh/y) 28
    Table 2.4: US tidal current potential, (TWh/y) 31
    Table 3.5: Theoretical OTEC efficiencies 40
    Table 3.6: OTEC plant configurations 42
    Table 3.7: Life cycle carbon dioxide emissions from OTEC plants 48
    Table 3.8: Costs for a 100MW floating OTEC plant 50
    Table 4.9: Annual wave energy content for different regions, (kW/m) 55
    Table 4.10: Types of wave energy converter 57
    Table 4.11: Estimated installation costs for wave energy converters 68
    Table 4.12: Estimated cost of electricity from wave energy plants 70
    Table 5.13: Tidal current turbine size required to sweep out a power density of 1MW at different current speeds 76
    Table 5.14: Water current power swept out by a 10m diameter turbine at different current speeds 77
    Table 5.15: Types of tidal stream power generation devices 81
    Table 5.16: Cost estimates for tidal stream power generation 90
    Table 5.17: Economics of tidal stream generation in North America 91
    Table 6.18: Tidal reach at best global sites, (m) 95
    Table 6.19: Global tidal sites with largest energy potential 96
    Table 6.20: Major tidal barrage power plants 104
    Table 7.21: Types of salinity gradient power generation 113
    Table 8.22: Marine power generation costs 121
    Table 8.23: Cost estimates for generation in the UK 123
    Table 9.24: Comparative installed cost of generating technologies (£/kW), UK 130
    Table 9.25: Cost of electricity from competing technologies (£/MWh), UK 132
    Table 9.26: Levelized cost of electricity from competing technologies ($/MWh), California 134
    Table 9.27: European growth prospects for wave and tidal stream technologies 137
    Table 9.28: Island states with potential OTEC 141

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