Wave and Tidal Energy Market Growth 2014 – 2020

Wave and tidal energy are forms of hydropower that convert the energy of waves and the tides into electricity. Similar to other renewable resources, wave and tidal energy is variable in nature. Waves are formed by winds gusting across the surface of the sea, which means their output is relatively unpredictable and inconsistent. On the other hand, tidal energy, which is governed by the gravitational dynamics of the Sun and the Moon, can be predicted centuries in advance.

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In current times, the commercial and technological deployment of these hydropower projects is at a nascent stage. Wave and tidal energy forms are emerging as the future of the energy generation technology market. But for that to happen, continuous support from state governments and private financers is required until the technology gets matured enough to come to fruition. Also, like any newly introduced renewable energy technology, the wave and tidal energy market also suffers from high costs of initial deployment. The market may face hindrances due to these issues.

Global Wave and Tidal Energy Market to Generate US$10.1 billion by 2020

Based on the type of energy, the wave energy market and the tidal energy market are the two segments of the global wave and tidal energy market. The tidal energy industry mainly includes the tidal stream energy market and the tidal range energy market. Tidal range power plants involve construction of tidal barrages, which is a mature form of energy generation technology.

In 2011, the Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station, with a capacity of 254 MW, replaced the Rance Tidal Power Station in France as the biggest tidal power plant in the world. Wave energy is a relatively more recent concept in the global wave and tidal energy industry. In 2013, wave energy capacity deployed worldwide totaled just 5.77 MW. Both markets are expected to witness significant development in terms of deployed capacity and investment in the coming years.

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Major regional markets for wave and tidal energy are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World. Europe is expected to show major developments in wave and tidal energy stream plants. On the other hand, the market in South Korea is likely to register the fastest growth rate in terms of tidal barrage operations.

The wave and tidal energy market had reached a valued of US$25 million in 2013. By 2020, it is expected to reach US$10.1 billion, growing at a CAGR of 64.1% during the period of 2014 to 2020. In terms of installed capacity, at a CAGR of 34.5% during the forecast period, this market is estimated to attain an installed capacity of 3712 MW by the end of this period.

The wave and tidal energy market is expected to be driven by the accumulation of tidal barrage capacity in South Korea. Wave energy development in Asia Pacific will be centered around Australia, as the nation is estimated to incorporate around 25 MW of capacity by the end the forecast period.

High Number of New Entrants Fragmenting Global Wave and Tidal Energy Industry

Large-scale original equipment manufacturers are acquiring smaller technology developers in a bid to enter the global wave and tidal energy market. Similarly, the lack of adequate project developers in general is driving small-time market players towards tying-up with large OEMs to speed up the process of commercialization of their technologies. Technology developers are showing signs of shifting to technology licensing to reduce their business risks and working capital requirement.

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More than 200 enterprises are operating in the wave and tidal energy market. Some of the major players in the global wave and tidal energy market are Ocean Power Technologies Inc., Tenax Energy, and Ocean Renewable Power Company LLC. With so many players in the market, the wave and tidal energy industry is at a fragmented condition at present and shows no signs of consolidation in the near future. Upgrades in manufacturing and increasing knowledge of large-scale project development will assist the market participants in making the wave and tidal energy technology commercially viable.

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