Linking the long-term variability in global wave energy to swell climate and redefining suitable coasts for energy exploitation

Sci Rep. 2022 Aug 29;12(1):14692. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-18935-w.

ABSTRACT

The sustainability of wave energy linked to the intra- and inter-annual variability in wave climate is crucial in wave resource assessment. In this study, we quantify the dependency of stability of wave energy flux (power) on long-term variability of wind and wave climate to detect a relationship between them. We used six decades of re-analysis wind and simulated wave climate in the entire globe and using two 30-yearly periods, we showed that not only the previously suggested minimum period of 10 years for wave energy assessment appears to be insufficient for detecting the influence of climate variability, but also the selection period for wave energy assessment can lead to an over/underestimation of about 25% for wave power. In addition, we quantified the dependency of rates of change of wave power, wind speed and wave parameters and showed that the change in wave power is mainly a function of change in swell wave climate globally. Finally, we redefined the suitability of global hotspots for wave energy extraction using intra-annual fluctuation, long-term change, and the available wave power for the period of six decades. The results highlight the importance of climate variability in resource assessment, sustainability, and prioritizing the hotspots for future development.

PMID:36038615 | PMC:PMC9424311 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-18935-w

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