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The potential of marine energy technologies in the UK – Evaluation from a systems perspective

Zeyringer, M; Fais, B; Keppo, I; Price, J; (2018) The potential of marine energy technologies in the UK – Evaluation from a systems perspective. Renewable Energy , 115 pp. 1281-1293. 10.1016/j.renene.2017.07.092. Green open access

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Abstract

Accelerated technological change plays a crucial role in enabling the low-carbon energy transition. Quantitative energy modelling exploring alternative long-term decarbonisation pathways can support policy-makers in choosing the most important areas for technology promotion. This study analyses the potential contribution of marine energy in the UK from an energy systems perspective considering the trade-offs between local lead markets and global learning, the uncertainty in the learning potential, competition with alternative technologies and impacts on system balancing. The results indicate that only under very favourable conditions, i.e. with learning rates above 15% and high global deployment, marine energy w ill have a significant contribution to the UK decarbonisation pathway. Alternatively, marine energy could constitute a hedging strategy against multiple failure in other low-carbon options. The early strategic investments into marine energy lead, in most cases, to a slight rise in societal welfare costs compared to the respective cases without attempts to induce marine learning and brings benefits to the electricity system. Thus, on the whole, we conclude that marine energy has the potential to contribute to the UK energy system, but there is a substantial risk that strategic investments in a national lead market will not directly pay off in the long term.

Type: Article
Title: The potential of marine energy technologies in the UK – Evaluation from a systems perspective
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2017.07.092
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2017.07.092
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Keywords: Marine energy, Energy systems analysis, Energy innovation, Technology learning, Sensitivity analysis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10022768
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