The new report from IDTechEx Research, Wave, Tidal and Hydro Power 1W-10MW 2018-2038 finds that interest in water power is on the rise again as large orders are landed. The new vibrancy primarily concerns avoiding huge infrastructure and putting simpler devices in open water, particularly in the sea. At last, marketing led approaches satisfy new needs, particularly in a vast number of cases where cost of electricity is not key. Zero emission charging of water taxis uses necessarily invisible water turbines in city rivers. 10MW of new wave power for Bali is based on the fact that, "tourists do not want to see vast lifeless areas of black solar cells or giant propellers: they visit to get away from that". Learn of two other wave power companies that respectively claim 111MW and 2.5 GW of business pipelines. Diesel gensets are going to need expensive additions to meet new emissions laws and already many in remote places have an easy-to-beat cost of electricity of up to $1/kWh. It is also easy to beat nuclear power where it is banned as in New Zealand, Germany, Polynesia and so on. Wave and tidal stream power can be almost continuous, employ a fraction of the materials in an offshore wind turbine and require less maintenance and fewer or no batteries than wind or solar: very different from their popular image.
Primary author Dr Peter Harrop says, "Our facts-based analysis questions the argument that open water tidal power is ahead of wave power. The marketing led approach is well established in wave power but only recently gaining traction in tidal power and the orderbook proves it. However, redeployable vessel-based tidal stream harvesters for needs down to 50kW are being prepared for markets including in non-tidal sea currents and large rivers. Superbly engineered experiments in tidal stream power have delivered far more electricity to the grid than waves have and the biggest investment. Best to say that wave and tidal stream will both create billion dollar businesses but they address different needs so they will rarely collide in the market place. One recent wave power order is a desalinator and one innovative sea floor tidal generator incorporates battery, sensors and acoustic monitoring and promises to be almost fit-and-forget with rapid installation and redeployment."
"We see a market of about $66 billion in 2038 but those selling solutions will enjoy a multiple of that. Entrepreneurial companies with modest funds may get to the billion dollar level earlier than some with grid-obsessed investors demanding head on competition with plummeting wind and solar costs, though some of those will succeed too, particularly if they gain the credibility of selling intermediate product as they go."
Invisibility, mobility, suitability for islands, for grid abandonment and the burgeoning needs at sea are powerful pluses now. Think desalination, aquaculture (e.g. offshore ice making), ships, sea floor mining, smart buoys, oil and gas subsea equipment without umbilicals, ocean monitoring, microgrids and minigrids. Desalination doubles every ten years and aquaculture every 20 years but the zero emission power for them will grow faster. Solar and wind power can provide lowest cost zero emission electricity for much of this but wind power is unreliable and half as efficient when downsized and salt and bird droppings make solar at sea need a lot of maintenance.
The report Wave, Tidal and Hydro Power 1W-10MW 2018-2038 deeply examines the new technology. From 11 primary choices, learn favourite forms of tidal and wave power in physics, location and turbine design. How are the three leading wind turbine shapes performing underwater and what are the lessons? New vortex turbines useful in rivers? Wave energy electricity directly from triboelectrics, magnetostriction, dielectric elastomers? What does facts-based analysis of 26 leading developers, new interviews and their latest conference presentations teach us? Who is selling product, who is about to sell and what is the best match of their technology to market needs? It is all here, with emphasis on new markets and technologies even embracing electricity from city water supplies, tiny streams and boats under sail or moored in a tidestream. No other report is as comprehensive, up to date and insightful as the new "Wave, Tidal and Hydro Power 1W-10MW 2018-2038". For more information see www.IDTechEx.com/wave.
Top image: Burges Salmon