The International Energy Agency’s 2012 Energy Technology Perspectives forecasts up to 337GW of marine energy capacity could be deployed across the world, with about 70% from wave energy, by 2050. The UK has created and retains world leading expertise in academia where we continue to progress research into wave and tidal energy.
Industry and researchers are making strong progress towards reliable, cost-effective wave energy technologies, however to become a viable part of the long-term energy mix, wave energy must continue to strive for Levelised Cost of Energy reductions beyond those which are achievable through application of traditional technologies and architectures. Alternative technologies have the potential to contribute significantly to this objective.
Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has identified a range of potential alternative technologies for the conversation of wave energy to utility-scale electricity. This project, which will be supported by WES, will add scientific rigor by adding structure, depth and analysis to create a structured technology development roadmap for the most attractive of these technologies.
WES support to this project will include regular contact with the WES team who will provide guidance as required.
Alternative technologies such as. electroactive polymers and triboelectric nanogenerators have the potential to provide step change cost reduction beyond that achievable by traditional technologies and architectures of wave energy converters.
Attractive qualities of these technologies present potential for cost of energy reductions, e.g. flexibility of materials (survivability), direct wave to electricity conversion (reduced cost), reduced material use (low-carbon, reduced cost).
This project builds upon R&D being developed globally.
The scope of the project includes:
- Development of a bespoke structured innovation approach to alternative technologies with appropriate analysis tools for evaluation and down selection
- Review existing studies, wider literature review and identification of candidate technologies using assessment tools
- Detailed physical and techno-economic analysis of candidate technology characteristics and identification of R&D requirements
- Structured innovation approach to creating wave energy converter architectures to optimally exploit the alternative power conversion technology
- Production (and external review) of technology development roadmap
The resulting R&D roadmap will guide funders and industry; helping wave energy to become a key part of the future energy mix.
This project will be hosted within the Policy and Innovation Group of the Institute for Energy Systems and supported by Wave Energy Scotland and Energy Technology Partnership.
Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.
Tuition fees and stipend are available for Home/EU students (International students not eligible). This studentship is jointly funded by University of Edinburgh, Energy Technology Partnership and Wave Energy Scotland. The PhD candidate will have to demonstrate that they have permission to study in the UK for the duration of the project.