Powering the World
The world is transitioning to a low carbon future in which clean, affordable, renewable electricity powers our daily lives. Global electricity consumption is a £2+ trillion annual global market, which is growing year on year. The ocean’s waves and offshore winds are an immense source of renewable power that will become a vital part of the world’s decarbonisation efforts. There is enough energy in the oceans to power the entire planet, yet currently this vast resource has hardly been tapped…
All of our major oceans contain a significant wave energy resource which can be exploited on many of the world’s coastlines. It is estimated that there is a practical global wave energy resource of well over 4000TWh per year which could make a substantial contribution to global energy requirements. Wave power has the advantages of being persistent, forecastable and often desynchronised with other renewable sources such as wind and solar.
Offshore Wind Energy
Offshore wind is a huge resource common on most of the coastlines of the world, especially at higher latitudes. It is estimated that there is a practical global offshore wind resource of over 30,000TWh per year which is more than the current world annual electricity consumption. Fixed offshore wind has been successful in regions of shallow water, such as the North Sea, but the majority of the resource is in much deeper water and will need floating technology to exploit.
An Abundance of Energy
Marine energy is the largest source of untapped renewable energy available to the human race; the winds and waves in our oceans contain enough energy to provide the planet with all the energy it needs many times over. Illustrated below is the global practically exploitable resource for wave, wind and combined wind & wave:
Current global electricity consumption is circa 24,000 TeraWatt Hours (TWh) and will grow for the foreseeable future. The International Energy Agency forecasts global energy expanding by 30% between now and 2040 – equivalent to adding another China and India on top of today’s global energy demand! Worldwide electricity by source for 2017 can be seen below: