Impact of marine energy converters

Director of studies: Professor Gregorio Iglesias and Professor Deborah Greaves

Funded by SMSE at the University of Plymouth

Researcher: Javier Abanades T.

Marine energy is renewable and carbon free energy and it could be one of the most important energy supplies in the future. In the case of wave energy, it has long been considered one of the most promising renewable technologies because wave energy offers the highest energy density compared to the different renewable energy sources. However, the development of the technology is immature compared to other marine renewable energy technologies, such as tidal barrage power.

Wave farms extract energy of the ocean surface waves through Wave Energy Converters (WECs). This extraction varies the wave climate in the lee of the wave farm, reducing the wave height on the coast, which will change the wave conditions nearshore.


Knowledge of the impacts is the basis for the development of the different types of marine energy because an impact assessment is required for any such project. In the case of wave energy, there is a lack of understanding concerning the impacts on the coast. The aim of this PhD is the assessment of the impact of wave farms nearshore.

Spatial distribution of the wave power with a wave farm in NW Spain (Carballo and Iglesias, 2013)