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Wave Energy Extraction in the Northeast Atlantic: Future Wave Climate Availability
2017-09-01, Janjić, Jelena, Gallagher, Sarah, Dias, Frédéric
To examine the long-term viability of wave energy extraction locations, we analyse how the wave energy resource of the Northeast Atlantic may change both annually and seasonally towards the end of the twenty first century, using a three-grid WAVEWATCH III (WW3) model ensemble. Two greenhouse gas emission scenarios or Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 are analysed, with three members in each RCP wave model ensemble. We examine in detail the percentage of time for which energy extraction is possi- ble, discounting sea states where the Wave Energy Converters (WECs) will be non-operational. This provides a useful analysis of locations around the coast of Ireland, Scotland and France not only where the most energetic wave climate can be found, but also the locations where WEC deployment is the most productive in terms of hours of potential operation of the WEC, compared to the total length of the observed period. The model is forced by EC-Earth data (10 m winds and sea ice fields). A hindcast driven by ERA-Interim fields is also produced for validation. Although a significant reduction in the overall wave energy flux towards the end of the century was found, the subsequent change in potential hours of operation remained stable.