Spatio-temporal variation in wave power and implications for electricity supply
Open Access funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Under a Creative Commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Wave energy resources are intermittent and variable over both spatial and temporal scales. This is of concern when considering the supply of power to the electricity grid. This paper investigates whether deploying arrays of devices across multiple spatially separated sites can reduce intermittency of supply and step changes in generated power, thereby smoothing the contribution of wave energy to power supply. The primary focus is on the southwest UK; SWAN wave model hindcast data are analysed to assess the correlation of the resource across multiple sites and the variability of power levels with wave directionality. Power matrices are used to calculate step changes in the generated power with increasing numbers of sites. This is extended to national and European scales using ECMWF hindcast data to analyse the impacts of generating power at multiple sites over wider areas. Results show that at all scales the step change in generated power and the percentage of time with zero generation decreases with increasing numbers of sites before plateauing. This has positive implications for performance of electricity grids with high levels of renewable penetration.
The work was supported by the EPSRC funded “Extension of UKCMER Core Research, Industry and International Engagement” project (EP/M014738/1) and (EP/P008682/1). The Authors acknowledge the financial support provided by the Welsh Government and Higher Education Funding Council for Wales through the Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment (C001822). This study was a re-analysis of existing data, which are openly available at locations cited in the reference section.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Published online 27 March 2017