Uncertainty in wave energy resource assessment part 2: variability and predictability

Mackay, Edward B.L.; Bahaj, AbuBakr S.; Challenor, Peter G.. 2010 Uncertainty in wave energy resource assessment part 2: variability and predictability. Renewable Energy, 35 (8). 1809-1819.

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The uncertainty in estimates of the energy yield from a wave energy converter (WEC) is considered. The study is presented in two articles. The first article considered the accuracy of the historic data and the second article, presented here, considers the uncertainty which arises from variability in the wave climate. Mean wave conditions exhibit high levels of interannual variability. Moreover, many previous studies have demonstrated longer-term decadal changes in wave climate. The effect of interannual and climatic changes in wave climate on the predictability of long-term mean WEC power is examined for an area off the north coast of Scotland. In this location anomalies in mean WEC power are strongly correlated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index. This link enables the results of many previous studies on the variability of the NAO and its sensitivity to climate change to be applied to WEC power levels. It is shown that the variability in 5, 10 and 20 year mean power levels is greater than if annual power anomalies were uncorrelated noise. It is also shown that the change in wave climate from anthropogenic climate change over the life time of a wave farm is likely to be small in comparison to the natural level of variability. Finally, it is shown that despite the uncertainty related to variability in the wave climate, improvements in the accuracy of historic data will improve the accuracy of predictions of future WEC yield.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0960-1481
Additional Keywords: wave energy resource, variability, stochastic model, north atlantic oscillation, climate change, uncertainty
Date made live: 11 Mar 2010 +0 (UTC)

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