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

    11 Citations (Scopus)
    31 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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