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New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)
Wave energy devices floating at sea Photo: CorPower Ocean
CorPower Ocean anticipates its wave energy converter technology being deployed in clusters of 10–20 MW capacity, set out side-by-side to form utility-scale wave farms, as shown in this CGI rendering

Photo: CorPower Ocean

Swedish wave energy developer CorPower Ocean claims to have made a ‘major industry breakthrough’ after completing the first cycle of ocean commissioning for its first commercial-scale wave energy device.

The C4 wave energy converter (WEC) was deployed in the Atlantic, off the coast of northern Portugal, and demonstrated the technology’s ability to ‘tune’ and ‘detune’ according to varying sea states using the company’s novel ‘WaveSpring’ phase control technology to limit response to extreme storm waves of up to 18.5 metres while amplifying motion and power capture in regular waves.  


According to CorPower Ocean’s Head of Business Development Anders Jansson, completion of the first cycle of commissioning 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. ‘It’s an inflection point which provides a firm signal of wave energy’s readiness for widescale adoption,’ he says.


CorPower Ocean’s WEC is ‘capable of generating five times as much electricity per tonne of equipment, compared to the previous state of the art in wave energy’, claims the company.  


After completing a first on-land check-up and maintenance cycle, the C4 WEC will be re-deployed at the Agucadoura site offshore Portugal, and the demonstration programme continued.



Commenting on the achievement, Policy Director Richard Arnold of the trade association Marine Energy Council (MEC) says: ‘CorPower Ocean’s commercial-scale breakthroughs in Portugal demonstrate that wave energy is ready to realise its crucial role in a secure and cost-effective transition to net zero.’


Arnold cites a recent study from LUT University in Finland that investigated a series of potential scenarios for the UK and Ireland to successfully transition towards 100% renewable energy by 2050, which suggested that to deliver a cost-effective net zero energy system, the UK should seek to harness 27 GW of wave energy.  


Noting that: ‘LUT University’s compelling report reinforces the importance of wave energy in the UK’s energy transition,’ the MEC is calling for ‘a consistent route to market for wave energy with clear and ambitious targets of at least 300 MW deployed by 2035’.


However, the UK government last week confirmed that the emerging technologies fund (‘Pot 2’, which includes floating offshore wind, geothermal, tidal stream and wave energy, among others) under the latest renewables auction round, to be launched later this month, has been set at £105mn, with no ring-fencing of funds for the wave energy sector – something the MEC had been campaigning for.  


LUT University’s research paper concluded that a combination of renewables must be installed in the UK with storage, sector coupling and flexibility in order to reach 100% renewable energy. This will involve a mix of renewables including wind, solar, wave, tidal, geothermal, biomass and hydropower. The researchers believe a fossil-nuclear approach with less sustainability and higher costs can be avoided.


Christian Breyer, Professor for Solar Economy at LUT University, who led the study, says: ‘Wave power has a high potential globally, in Europe and in particular along the Atlantic coasts in the UK and Ireland. For the first time we could show the high economic attractiveness of wave power for the entire energy system, which has to be now enabled with the right general framework for wave power.’


Meanwhile, a recent University of Edinburgh report found deployment of just 6 GW of tidal stream and wave each, could lead to a reduction in energy system cost of over £1bn/y, while Offshore Wind Consultants suggests co-locating wave and wind could lead to a 12% cost reduction for both technologies.