Creation of Investor Confidence: The Top-Level Drivers for Reaching Maturity in Marine Energy

Ralf Bucher, Henry Jeffrey, Ian Bryden, G Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
86 Downloads (Pure)


Electricity generation by tidal current and wave power arrays
represents a radical innovation and is confronted by significant
technological and financial challenges. Currently, the marine energy
sector finds itself in a decisive transition phase having developed fullscale
technology demonstrators but still lacking proof of the concept in
a commercial project environment. In order to de-risk the technology and
to accelerate the commercialisation process, we identified stakeholderwide
balanced and realisable strategic targets. The objective is to name
the top-level drivers for facilitating technology maturation and thus
achieving market acceptance. Our analysis revealed that the two major
risks for multi-megawatt projects (funding and device performance) are
directly interlinked and that co-ordinated action is required to overcome
this circular relationship. As funding is required for improving device
performance (and vice-versa), showcasing an "array-scale success" was
identified as the interim milestone on the way towards commercial
generation. We observed that system dynamics modelling is appropriate for
an unbiased analysis of complex multi-level expert interview data. The
applied research model was found to be efficient and allows a regular reassessment of the strategic alignment thus supporting the adaptation to a
complex and continuously changing socio-technical environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120–129
Number of pages10
JournalRenewable Energy
Issue numberApril 2016
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2015


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