Horizon Scanning for Commercial Wave Energy Technology

Irish Times Wave Energy FeatureBackground:

As a technology neutral wave farm developer Simply Blue Energy (SBE) will use the best available technology for each wave farm project. SBE intends to develop projects in Ireland and the UK and are constantly reviewing all available technologies for such projects. SBE can then share its insights into the customer requirements of wave energy technologies in the hope that this will be helpful to wave energy technology R&D companies.

Motivation:

A key motivation for this Horizon Scanning Project was recognition that effective energy absorption and conversion are necessary but not sufficient conditions for commercial readiness in a wave energy technology. Other necessary conditions include awareness of market needs and awareness at an early stage in R&D of the later steps necessary to progress to commercial readiness and market entry. We expect that greater awareness of the commercial requirements of an R&D programme will improve the prospects for successful completion of that R&D programme.

Horizon Scanning Project Objectives:

Identify wave energy technology companies that are on a path to commercial readiness. This project aimed to assess technology against as complete a set of commercial requirements as reasonably possible.
For the most promising technologies identify areas where increased awareness of market/investor needs is likely to improve the product development and accelerate market entry. Where such areas were identified by SBE, we provideed feedback to increase understanding of market/investor needs and increase commercial focus.
Prepare a general high level report for publication outlining the general and anonymised findings of the project and benchmarking these against the SBE understanding of requirements and best practice. A paper was prepared for and presented at the EWTEC 2017 conference.

Programme:

The project was completed over four phases. The first phase was a requirements definition exercise. We invited inputs from third parties to the requirements definition.

The second phase was a long list review of currently active wave energy technology companies.

The third phase was a detailed short list review of most promising companies identified.

The Project concluded with the preparation and publication of our report which was shared at the European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference 2017.