Annual Report 2017

Task 7 - Cost of Energy Assessment for Wave, Tidal and OTEC

The assessment of the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for ocean energy devices represents a critical element of understanding in the development of ocean energy array projects.  While the cost of existing prototype devices is high, there is scope for significant reductions of the cost of energy.

The first phase of this task was a study done in 2015 which has contributed significantly to the state of the art in knowledge of LCOE and cost reduction trajectories for Wave, Tidal Stream, and OTEC on an international level. Industry consultation has allowed the development of revised cost models for all the technologies considered, producing revised expectations on the development trajectory for each technology. 

At the 32nd ExCo meeting (April 2017), Cost of Energy for Ocean Energy Technology was mentioned as one important topic that the ExCo should address. It was therefore suggested to conduct an analysis of the cost of energy from ocean energy system.

The study done in 2015 applied the LCOE methodology developed by the IEA and identified the need for homogenization of cost and performance (Capex, Opex, capacity factor and availability) data among different developers and countries.


Start date: 2014
End date: Permanent


Henry Jeffrey, The University of Edinburgh, UK

All Member countries


The study showed that whilst progress has been made, the rate at which cost-reduction and technology deployment have taken place have been below expectations in the sector. Further progress is needed in order to build confidence in the ocean energy sector, and in each specific technology market.

Technology development and deployments are the main drivers for bringing the cost of energy of ocean energy technologies down; however external factors such as cost reduction of other RES technologies (e.g wind) provide further stimulus for ocean energy to reduce cost quickly.

In order to monitor the evolution of ocean energy costs and to assess the impact of different drivers on the LCOE, it was proposed to undertake a common task on the cost of ocean energy taking into account historical trends, future development and differences among technologies and countries. This work will be developed in 2018.