The market can only flourish when the wave and tidal energy is channelized efficiently. In that way, ocean can prove to be one of the prime and beneficial reserves of clean and sustainable energy. Wave and tidal energy are the two major modes through which the ocean energy can be harnessed and it is noted that both of them have considerably different market dynamics.
The technology contributes a lot in generating power in distant remote sites where extracting grid connections can be neither cost-effective nor feasible. Broadly, the tidal energy can be subdivided into tidal stream and tidal range energy. Tidal range power plants requires the tidal barrages to be constructed and it is mainly entitled as the mature form of energy generation technology.
It is acknowledged that the Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station built in 2011 having an overall capacity of 254 MW in South Korea replaced France’s Rance Tidal Power Station and further came to be recognized as the largest tidal power plant in the world.
There is a huge scope for the development of Tidal stream power plants that are relatively based on new technology. Wave energy is a new concept. Both the sectors are likely to witness momentous market growth in terms of their installed capacity and investments done in the coming years.
Presently, the companies that are operating in the wave and tidal energy sector have exceeded the number over 200. And most of them are into the trade of development of energy converter technology. The respective technology has a very high potential of yielding returns of the economies of scale.
It has been projected that the large-scale commercial array deployments of wave and tidal power plants will experience massive cost reductions. On the other hand, it has also been viewed that the strong development of the offshore wind energy sector in several countries can actually play their part in reducing the cost potential of wave and tidal energy.
However, the prototype testing, project demonstration to large-scale commercial project construction has a really long way to go. But the local governments have been constantly providing financial and policy support which has aided the technology developers for rapid commercialization of their energy converter devices.
As per setting up of projects pertaining to special purposes are concerned , it becomes a necessary step for the allied companies , strategic alliances and small technology developers to invest in projects that are going all around the world. The Major developments and changes that take place in wave and tidal stream plants are mainly pertaining to the Europe region.
Correspondingly, South Korea is likely to expand the fastest in terms of tidal barrage operations. It is said that presently, only tidal barrages are having the capacity of generating returns based on the investments that are being done through the sale of electricity. Tidal stream and wave power plants do still not possess the capability of generating power at grid parity levels.
So, the point that it is trying to put emphasis on is of the commercialization of technology which is now recognized as the need of the hour for this sector. Or else, it will prove to be a difficult choice for the project developers to make long-term power sale contracts. As the sector shifts from grant financing to private equity, cost reduction would ultimately become a prerequisite issue.
The leading participants in the respective market constitute Pelamis Wave Power Ltd., Carnegie Wave Energy Ltd., Ocean Power Technologies, Inc., Ocean Renewable Power Company LLC, Tenax Energy, AquaGen Technologies, Atlantis Resources Ltd., S.D.E. Energy Ltd. (WERPO Wave Energy), Marine Current Turbines Ltd., and Aquamarine Power Ltd.
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