Climate sensitivity of marine energy
Harrison, Gareth P
Marine energy has a significant role to play in lowering carbon emissions within the energy sector. Paradoxically, it may be susceptible to changes in climate that will result from rising carbon emissions. Wind patterns are expected to change and this will alter wave regimes. Despite a lack of definite proof of a link to global warming, wind and wave conditions have been changing over the past few decades. Changes in the wind and wave climate will affect offshore wind and wave energy conversion: where the resource is constrained, production and economic performance may suffer; alternatively, stormier climates may create survival issues. Here, a relatively simple sensitivity study is used to quantify how changes in mean wind speed – as a proxy for wider climate change – influence wind and wave energy production and economics.