Proceedings of the 13 th International Conference of Environmental Science and Technology Athens, Greece, 5-7 September PDF

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Proceedings of the 13 th International Conference of Environmental Science and Technology Athens, Greece, 5-7 September 2013 DEVELOPING WAVE ENERGY IN MEDITERRANEAN SEA: PEST ANALYSIS AND EXAMINATION OF
Proceedings of the 13 th International Conference of Environmental Science and Technology Athens, Greece, 5-7 September 2013 DEVELOPING WAVE ENERGY IN MEDITERRANEAN SEA: PEST ANALYSIS AND EXAMINATION OF OTHER NON-TECHNOLOGICAL BARRIERS TO THE IMPLEMENTATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF WAVE ENERGY E. PAPADOPOULOS 1 and C. SYNOLAKIS 2 1 Technical University of Crete, Environmental Engineering Department, Chania, Crete, Greece, 2 Technical University of Crete, Environmental Engineering Department, Chania, Crete, Greece ABSTRACT Growing interest in converting the energy of Mediterranean s sea waves into electricity is matched by concerns regarding the potential effects of wave energy conversion technology on marine resources. This study presents political, ecological and socioeconomic challenges associated with wave energy conversion are likely to depend fundamentally on project scale and location. Social and cultural impacts to fisheries, marine transportation, and some reproductive activity are expected, and may have economic ramifications. Dramatic ecological, social, or economic effects are clearly indicated by this study and give a comprehensive analysis developing wave energy conversion technology off the coast of south-east Mediterranean region. The impacts of this technology to human activities, wave exposure, benthic communities, fishes, birds and mammals are all virtually certain, but their magnitude and the cumulative effects still remain unidentified and difficult to predict. In order to enable the competent implementation of wave energy without violating the principles of sustainability, it is of high importance to avoid conflicts that partly emerged, mainly with respect to environmental and societal sensitivities. In addition to the lessons learnt from other technologies, there is a number of specific aspects for the utilisation of wave energy that have been taken into account with sufficient care in the early phases of development. While developers work diligently on technology development, their ability to expand commercially may be considerably hindered unless non-technological barriers are addressed in earnest. The paper attempt to present in a concise way the most common barriers, their severity and their logical relationship in order to rise awareness in the target groups and to prepare a baseline for tackling these barriers that impede the deployment of wave energy. In addition, the paper outlines an extensive economic analysis and provides suggestions for developing further wave energy, taking into account important economic drivers. Furthermore, a number of initiatives and strategies are quoted in this report in order to propose some practices that have been taken to facilitate wave energy in south-east Mediterranean area and to tackle the barriers hindering its development. The results derived from this analysis indicate that wave energy could be economically competitive in Mediterranean Sea and has dynamic prospects of being commercially competitive with further R&D. Keywords: Wave energy; Cost Benefit Analysis of Ocean Energy, Environmental Impact Assessment, Non-technical barriers 1. INTRODUCTION The world energy consumption is estimated to rise considerably over the next decades and during this time frame it will increase in almost the same level in the European Union. Furthermore, taking into consideration that traditional methods of energy production are contributing to serious environmental problems, there is an urgent need for pollution-free power generation. The energy sector was forced through a renovating process and in the dynamic evolution of the renewable energy industry wave energy is emerging. Although the technology is relatively new and currently not economically competitive compared to others such as wind energy, interest from governments and industry is steadily increasing. An important feature of sea waves is their high energy density, one of the highest among renewable energy sources. The power in a wave is proportional to the square of the amplitude and to the period of the motion. Long period (~7-10 s), large amplitude (~2 m) waves have energy fluxes commonly exceeding kw per meter width of oncoming wave. Wave power is the most predictable and dependable form of renewable energy. Good wave power sites are available around the world, especially close to population centers. By the year 2025, nearly 75% of the world s population is expected to live in coastal countries whilst over half of the population of the Mediterranean Sea Countries lives within 50 miles of the coast. This lleads to an increased coastal intensity in energy demands, food and fresh water requirements, and transportation needs and creates a unique opportunity for wave energy. Wave energy can be co-located near coastal regions without significantly impacting living space and with minimal impact on the near shore ecosystem. European policy-makers are facing a challenging strategy a balancing act of combating climate change and securing the energy supply, while ensuring global cost competitiveness. The energy of waves can become a major element of this strategy as the exploitation of only 1% of the wave force on the planet would cover four times the current global energy demand. It is important to appreciate the difficulties facing wave power developments, the most important of which are: Irregularity in wave amplitude, phase and direction; it is difficult to obtain maximum efficiency of a device over the entire range of excitation frequencies The structural loading in the event of extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes, may be as high as 100 times the average loading The coupling of the irregular, slow motion (frequency 0.1 Hz) of a wave to electrical generators requires typically 500 times greater frequency. It becomes apparent, that the design of a wave energy converter has to be highly sophisticated to be operationally efficient and reliable on the one hand, and economically feasible on the other. As with all renewable energy sources, the available resource and variability at the installation site has to be determined first. The wave energy often restrained by the power of its nature, being both amicable and hostile. These constraints, together with misinformation and lack of understanding of wave technology by the industry, government and public, have often slowed down wave energy development. 2. PERSPECTIVES OF WAVE ENERGY Wave energy can become a significant contributor to the European Renewable Energy market in the medium to long term, provided that the necessary conditions to encourage this development are created. By 2030, 45% additional energy will be required to meet the needs of the world s population. Up to 67% of our current electricity comes from fossil fuel. CO 2 emissions could rise by as much as 45%. To face our energy challenges, wave energy represents a source of energy that is safe and inexhaustible. Even though its advantages are numerous and its development is sustainable, combining crucial economic, environmental, ethical and social factors, it has been poorly exploited. Particular advantages of wave energy include the limited environmental impact, the natural seasonal variability of wave energy, which follows the electricity demand in temperate climates, and the introduction of synchronous generators for reactive power control. The negligible demand on land use is an important aspect, followed by the current trends of offshore wind energy exploitation. As for most forms of renewable energy, the in situ exploitation of wave energy has many prospects for economic development in remote - deprived areas and implies diversification of employment, and security of energy supply. Moreover wave energy can contribute to the EU overall targets of providing a more diversified energy mix by using a locally available, renewable energy source. A diversified energy mix, both geographically and technologically, can resolve the issue of variability, decentralization of energy production and independence on fossil fuel imports. Wave energy can play substantial role and bring significant added value to the European Union's energy mix. 3. THE WAVE ENERGY POTENTIAL IN MEDITERRANEAN SEA In the Mediterranean basin, the annual power level off the coasts of the European countries varies between 4 and 11 kw/m, the highest values occurring in the area of the southwestern Aegean Sea. This area is characterized by a relatively long fetch and high wind energy potential. The entire annual deep-water resource along the European coasts in the Mediterranean is of the order of 30 GW, the total wave energy resource for Europe resulting thus to 320 GW. Greece has a coastline of over 16,000 km in the Aegean and Ionian Seas. The large wind potential over the Aegean Sea in a prevailing North-South direction induces a relatively intense wave climate of 4 11 kw/m annual average power. Multiple hot spots can be identified, caused by the complex island terrain. Wave power plants are particularly suitable for delivering electricity to the large number of islands, which are mainly supplied by diesel stations. The high cost of electricity on the islands will make wave energy competitive compared to conventional power producers. However, wind energy has already proven its feasibility in this region, and the government and private investors heavily support it. Wave energy development is hindered by legislation regarding the implementation of renewable energies and the deregulation of the energy market, while R&D mainly is conducted in Universities and in Research Centers. The strongest wave potential occurs during the winter months when the average flow of the wave energy reaches values above 7 kw/m. During spring, summer and autumn the wave strength is lower, although high intensities can occur in certain areas, related to the season. In the northern Aegean, the wave energy is about 3-5 kw/m, while in the north-central Aegean, up to the Cyclades, wave reaches up to 6 kw / m. In the south-western Aegean, wave energy is lower (4-5 kw/m). The higher values of wave energy, 6-8 kw/m, are found between Kythera and Crete, Crete and Kassos. In the strait between Crete and Karpathos Karpathos-Rhodes-, wave energy is about 6 kw/m. In the Ionian Sea, wave energy annually varies in a range of 4-8 kw / m. The exploitation of wave energy should be promoted, with the primary goal of a comprehensive study of the whole Greek area on wave status and potential, with analysis and reporting capacity in power generation in each case, in order to find the most effective solutions for the economy and the environment 4. POLITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL-ECONOMIC & TECHNOLOGICAL (PEST) ANALYSIS OF WAVE ENERGY 4.1 POLITICAL ASPECTS: The European energy challenge Energy is essential for Europe to function and all EU Member States face the challenges of climate change, increasing dependence on imported energy and higher energy prices. It is clear that a radical change is required in the way energy is produced, distributed and consumed. This means transforming Europe into a highly efficient, sustainable energy economy. According to the European Commission, the 20% binding target by 2020 implies that 35% of electricity has to be generated from renewable energy sources. In order to develop wave energy as a new promising and significant source of renewable energy there is necessity for consistent polices. These include the availability of financial support mechanisms, notably revenue incentives and capital funding at European and national levels, streamlined licensing and permitting procedures, as well as strong political commitment to support the advancement of wave energy. To guarantee investor confidence and to develop wave energy demonstration installations, the sector needs a strong and stable political framework. The framework should be based on the following principles: legislation and policy (specifically payment mechanisms), grid access, environmental policies and R&D programs. Furthermore, there is a need for increased cooperation through working groups from public administrations and the ocean energy industry to identify potential barriers and limitations and to suggest measures to remove these. In Greece the Specific Framework planning for Renewables was published in 2008 (Ministerial decree 49828) concerning only offshore wind while Marine energy was not included. 4.2 ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS With the adoption of the new ENERGY FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES directive by the European Parliament and the European Council, the EU has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by It has been estimated that 300 kg of CO 2 could be avoided for each MWh generated by ocean energy. If wave energy is to fulfill its potential as part of an integrated energy system, then a full and accurate assessment of its environmental benefits and burdens needs to be undertaken. Within the EU, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be carried out before public approval for larger projects can be granted. The minimum requirements of the EIA are specified in the EC Council Directive 85/337/EEC101 amended in Directive 97/11/EC102. An EIA shall identify, describe and assess the direct and indirect effects of a wave energy application on the following factors: Human beings, fauna and flora Seabed, soil, water, air, climate and the landscape Material assets and the cultural heritage The interaction between these factors mentioned It is essential to carry out an EIA on the specific wave energy project, with the purpose of providing valuable information about the effects and possible impacts on the environment from the time of installation until the dismantling of a particular wave energy application. 4.3 SOCIO-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF WAVE ENERGY It is important to identify potential barriers and benefits regarding social acceptance in relation to the expected development of wave energy, and to present recommendations concerning this subject based on experience from the wave energy devices that are currently being deployed, and from other renewable energy technologies. Moreover, it is crucial that developers should not presume on public acceptance. Public acceptability is however sometimes seen as an increasing constraint on the exploitation of renewable energy. Socio-economic is an umbrella term with many meanings. The socio-economic impacts of a wave energy project relate to the effects that the construction, operation and decommissioning of the existing farm will have on society and the economy at a local, regional or higher level. This may also include the effects in broader areas. Socio-economic impacts for offshore renewable projects typically involve issues such as demography, employment and regional income, sea and land use, aesthetics, infrastructures, socio-cultural systems and activities such as fisheries, tourism and recreation. The wave energy has significant positive impacts both in GDP and employment. It is anticipated that approximately 10 to 12 direct and indirect jobs would be created for each MW of wave energy installed. Parallels can also be drawn with the growth of the wind industry. External costs of wave energy can be similar to those of offshore wind in the medium term. Other generating technologies such as oil, coal and gas present much higher external costs than offshore wind, and if these costs were taken into account, it would help accelerate the competitiveness of wave energy. The financing of wave energy projects, especially in their early phase, is the most critical barrier for the sector s market uptake. The very nature of wave energy projects makes them highly capital intensive, a characteristic that does not differentiate them from many other renewable energy (RE) technologies. Like all RE technologies, wave energy has a relatively long payback period that is not very attractive to Venture Capitalists. The predicted electricity generating costs from a wave energy converter have shown a significant improvement in the last twenty years, which has reached an average price of approx EUR/kWh at a discount rate of 8%. Compared to the average electricity price in the EU, which is approx EUR/kWh, the electricity price produced from wave energy is still high, but is forecasted to decrease with the development of the technology. Wave energy can contribute to regional development in Europe, especially in remote and coastal areas. The manufacturing, transportation, installation, operation and maintenance of ocean energy facilities will generate revenue and employment. 4.4 TECHNOLOGICAL STATUS Wave energy has the largest potential in Europe and worldwide and can be captured in a number of different ways including through point absorbers, attenuators, overtopping, oscillating wave surge convertors, and oscillating water columns. The rapid development of ocean energy technology is moving it towards an emerging European Industry. Wave power has long been considered as one of the most promising renewable energy sources. Wave Energy Converters (WECs) convert wave power into electricity and must face several difficulties, as a corrosive environment, immense loading in extreme weather conditions, and randomness in power input or low transmission frequencies. To be competitive, the design of a wave energy converter has to cope with these difficulties efficiently. The freak loads in the sea may exceed the rated values by several orders of magnitude and are difficult to predict. Therefore, the design of a wave energy converter requires a high degree of sophistication to provide sufficient operational safety in extreme conditions on one hand, but also be economically competitive on the other. In contrast to other renewable energy resource utilization there are a large number of concepts for wave energy conversion. The apparently large number of concepts for wave energy converters can be classified within a few basic generic types. The main types of wave energy converters are: The oscillating water column, which consists of a partially submerged, hollow structure open to the sea below the water line. Overtopping devices that collect the water of incident waves to drive one or more low head turbines. Point absorbers (floating or mounted on the sea bed), which usually provide a heavy motion that is converted by mechanical and/or hydraulic systems in linear or rotational motion for driving electrical generators. Surging devices that exploit the horizontal particle velocity in a wave to drive a deflector or to generate pumping effect of a flexible bag facing the wave front. Crucial for any design is the mooring, which ensures a maintained position under both normal operating loads as well as extreme storm load conditions. Every configuration should be sufficiently compliant to accommodate wave climate variations and environmental loading while remaining sufficiently stiff to allow berthing for inspections and maintenance. Finally, the system should be capable and reliable to have a considerable life cycle span. 5. NON-TECHNOLOGICAL BARRIERS The absence of long-term policies can certainly be considered as a major barrier affecting several different levels and together with other mechanisms policy measures are actually the most important tools for mitigation of barriers. An outline of the most important mitigation mechanisms includes: Policy & Administration Policy measures and improvement of public administration s efficiency are certainly the most relevant means of mitigation at present and in near future. In particular intervention on national targets and priorities, licensing procedures, and support mechanisms are vital for development. Market Pull Once activities in a sector start and gain certain stability, the market itself requires a secondary market of supporting activities and, simultaneously generates strong interests and lobbying capacities. This e
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