In this study, the assessment of the combined wind and wave energy potential is presented for locations in the North Atlantic, that is characterized by high energy swells generated by remote westerly wind systems as a consequence of extratropical cyclones (Ponce de León and Bettencourt 2021), and in the Mediterranean Sea where extreme waves are common. The objective is investigating the feasibility of satellite altimetry-based assessments of combined wind/wave renewable energy potential in the European shelf, taking advantage of the increased time and spatial coverage of the satellite altimetry constellation, composed of 10 past and present altimetry missions compiled in the ESA Sea State Climate Change Initiative data base (Dodet et al., 2020).
The method consists of using the homogenized multi-mission altimeter data, to estimate site wind and wave power densities. We use the empirical model of Gommenginger et al. (2003) to estimate the energy period, required for the computation of the wave power density from the altimeter Ku band significant wave height and radar backscatter coefficient. Waves buoys were used to validate the method.
Using Atlantic and Mediterranean sites as comparators for wind/wave correlation (Fusco et al., 2010) we show that wind/wave energy are relatively correlated in the Mediterranean, but not in the North Atlantic, which has implications for the efficient combination of renewable energy sources to make renewable energy supply more resilient. In particular, the co-location of wind and wave farms only has a strong rationale in locations where wind and wave resources are relatively uncorrelated. To date, while significant effort has gone into individually mapping wind and wave resources, little attention has focused on their temporal correlation. With a drive to 100% renewable energy, it is important that complementarity between individual renewable (including marine) energy resources, so that the most resilient forms of renewable energy, and combinations of renewable sources, are developed.
Dodet, G., Piolle, J.-F., Quilfen, Y., Abdalla, S., Accensi, M., Ardhuin, F., Ash, E., Bidlot, J.-R., Gommenginger, C., Marechal, G., Passaro, M., Quartly, G., Stopa, J., Timmermans, B., Young, I., Cipollini, P., Donlon, C., 2020. The Sea State CCI dataset v1: towards a sea state climate data record based on satellite observations. Earth System Science Data 12, 1929–1951, https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-12-1929-2020
Fusco F., Nolan G., Ringwood J., 2010. Variability reduction through optimal combination of wind/waves resources – An Irish case study. Energy 35, 310-325, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2009.09.023
Gommenginger, C.P., Srokosz, M.A., Challenor, P.G., Cotton P.D., 2003. Measuring ocean wave period with satellite altimeters: a simple empirical model. Geophysical Research Letters VOL. 30, NO. 22, 2150, https://doi.org/10.1029/2003GL017743
Ponce de León S., Bettencourt J.H., 2021. Composite analysis of North Atlantic extra-tropical cyclone waves from satellite altimetry observations, Advances in Space Research 68 762-772, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asr.2019.07.021