23 September, 2019


Extraordinary cost values never seen in the industry

Our calculations show the true potential behind NoviOcean WEC... Take a look for yourself and compare.

Capital and Operational Costs

NoviOcean devices are light in weight and simple and use industrially mature components and subsystems. Therefore, significantly boosting the cost-effectiveness for initial capital costs and operational costs to a level that is comparable to offshore wind energy from the start, significantly lower than other ocean energy technologies.

Our initial estimations based on WavEC’s numbers show that the CapEx for our earliest commercial NoviOcean WEC with the power rating of 500 kW (which is called NO500) is very promising when compared to any other WEC, as we have illustrated below.

In terms of OpEx, it is foreseen that the NO500 WEC will still be a very promising and cost-effective technology compared to many other wave energy converters, with values always being lower than the industry median. Moreover, these costs tend to lower significantly with larger arrays and more advanced deployment stages to the point that they would be in the same range as of offshore wind power as can be seen below. Note that the average size of an offshore wind farm is considerably higher than our first commercial array, despite them being at the same range.

Sources used for graphs:
1- IEA. (2015). International Levelised Cost of Energy for Ocean Energy Technologies. IEA Technology Collaboration Programme for Ocean Energy Systems (OES).
2- IRENA. (2018). Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017. Abu Dhabi: International Renewable Energy Agency.

Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCoE)

An important design advantage of the NoviOcean WEC is that the size of the floating structure can be easily adjusted to fit the wave characteristics of the selected site location. Although increased float size adversely affects the total CapEx, it positively contributes to AEP in a way that it improves the LCoE and capacity factor (CF) overall.

For this reason, two additional scenarios (besides the baseline scenario for the standard fixed wetted area of 6×25 m2) have been investigated to analyze the effects of increased float size on the LCoE. In the “Max. Optimal Float Size” scenario, the area of the floating structure will be adjusted by an in-built multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) tool embedded in our unique in-house LCoE model for optimizing the yield in each individual site location. The “Adjustable Float Size” scenario investigates an improved (but fixed) floating structure size of 8×35 m2 which allows for higher yields.

The following maps show our estimated LCoE values (with respect to the “Adjustable Float Size” scenario) for several selected test sites in Europe and North America for early 50 MW arrays of NO500 WECs. Previous third party (especially WavEC's) estimates have been most helpful with our LCoE calculations. These values have been further adjusted according to water depth and distance to port for each individual site.

According to our in-depth and rather conservative estimations, the LCoE for NO500 early commercial arrays will typically range from 60 to 120 €/MWh (90 €/MWh on average), depending on the wave characteristics of each region. These values can be further improved by at least 20% through the use of A.I. algorithms we have under development, combined with adjustments for the next incoming wave. The numbers will decline quickly as the effects of economies of scale and learning curve come into play.

The figure below illustrates the effect of learning for a selected example location (AMETS). Early smaller arrays can benefit from available regional subsidies (e.g. CfD or FiTs) to a moderate degree where the LCoE is lower than wholesale electricity (spot) price. Subsidies are, however, not needed for some areas (i.e. remote islands) even for the early arrays. With a medium learning curve, these costs fall rapidly (hence less and less need for subsidies) and can eventually fall to about 25 €/MWh, lower than all other electricity generation alternatives! The implications that will make for a world desperate to cut emissions, need not be explained!

The figure below compares the average LCoE values for commercial NoviOcean NO500 arrays with other electricity generation alternatives.

Source used for maps and graph above:
1- Nielsen, K., & Pontes, T. (2010). Report T02-1.1 OES IA Annex II Task 1.2 Generic and Site-related Wave Energy Data. OES.
2- TRL+. (2017). Metocean Analysis of BiMEP for Offshore Design. MINECO.
3- Goggins, J., & Finnegan, W. (2014). Shape optimisation of floating wave energy converters for a specified wave energy spectrum. Renewable Energy, 71, 208-220.
4- Prendergast, J., Li, M., & Sheng, W. (2018). A Study on the Effects of Wave Spectra on Wave Energy Conversions. IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, 99, 1-13. doi:10.1109/JOE.2018.2869636
5- Cahill, B., & Lewis, T. (2011). Wave Energy Resource Characterization and the Evaluation of Potential Wave Farm Sites. MTS/IEEE OCEANS’11.
6- Sinha, A., Karmakar, D., & Soares, C. G. (2016). Shallow water effects on wave energy converters with hydraulic power take-off system. International Journal of Ocean and Climate Systems, 7(3), 108-117. doi:10.1177/1759313116649966
7- Gonçalves, M., Martinho, P., & Soares, C. G. (2014). Assessment of wave energy in the Canary Islands. Renewable Energy, 68, 774-784. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2014.03.017
8- Fraunhofer ISE. (2018). Levelized Cost of Electricity Renewable Energy Technologies. Freiburg.

NoviOcean & Competition

Wave energy technologies have been so far not very successful with delivering cost-effective solutions compared to other renewables. While this can be partly blamed on the infancy of the ocean energy industry in general, it can be also argued that the previous solutions have been falling short in maintaining a balance between power delivery, simplicity, and weight. This can eventually result in having complex systems that generate relatively low amounts of electricity compared to their mass. Therefore, such designs will ultimately lead to a high LCoE. Moreover, in ocean environments where survivability and reliability are both very crucial factors, utilizing well-proven, simple, light, and strong parts is key. For this reason, we are convinced that many common mechanisms used in other wave energy concepts (such as cogwheels, accumulators, hydraulic motors, springs, etc.) cannot simply satisfy such stringent criteria.

We believe that NoviOcean can do differently, simply because our design works with few parts that are well-proven in reliability for more than two hundred years. Thanks to such components, our doubly patented (a third pending) WEC concept, NoviOcean, can be simple, yet strong, and lightweight yet efficient. This enables us to absorb tremendous amount of energy from ocean waves using a significantly lighter structure. Therefore, the absorbed energy per ton for a NoviOcean WEC will be more than double of what some of the most promising technologies can offer to the market to date! The essence of that is summarized in the graph below.

This is one of the main enablers to unlocking such unique LCoE values for NoviOcean concept, and one of the main reasons that led us believe that NoviOcean WEC can outperform the competing technologies. Below, we have compared our levelized electricity costs to what is offered by different sectors of ocean energy, including all other wave, tidal, and OTEC concepts.

Some sources used for graphs:
1- IEA. (2015). International Levelised Cost of Energy for Ocean Energy Technologies. IEA Technology Collaboration Programme for Ocean Energy Systems (OES).
2- Babarit, A., Hals, J., Muliawan, M. J., Kurniawan, A., Moan, T., & Krikstad, J. (2012). Numerical benchmarking study of a selection of wave energy converters. Renewable Energy, 41, 44-63.
3- WindEurope. (2019). Wind energy in Europe in 2018. WindEurope Business Intelligence.
4- Islam, M. R., Guo, Y., & Zhu, J. (2014). A review of offshore wind turbine nacelle: Technical challenges, and research and developmental trends. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 33, 161-176.