Life cycle assessment of a lift-based wave energy converter

Bastos, Paula and Devoy-McAuliffe, Fiona and Arredondo-Galeana, Abel and Fernández Chozas, Julia and Lamont-Kane, Paul and Vinagre, Pedro Almeida (2023) Life cycle assessment of a lift-based wave energy converter. Proceedings of the European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, 15. pp. 1-10. ISSN 2706-6940 (

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Evaluating the overall advantages of a new configuration of wave energy technologies goes beyond techno-economic performance and reliability. As the marine renewable energy sector expands, it is important to ensure that the technologies prove to be environmentally friendly alternatives. A cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment was conducted on a novel energy converter (LiftWEC) to evaluate its potential cumulative impacts. The global warming potential was characterized, indicating that the configuration could be a potential low-carbon alternative compared with many wave energy devices and conventional forms of energy production. The carbon and energy payback time were also analysed to estimate the time required to offset the carbon emission and demanded energy. This assessment highlighted the impact of the characteristic energy mix profile and energy production potential of the deployment region on the results obtained. The study also analysed alternative scenarios of materials, deployment locations, and end-of-life strategies to identify potential improvement opportunities to reduce the environmental impacts.