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Wave energy potential map along the Italian coast available for marine power generation

pubblicazioni - Memoria

Wave energy potential map along the Italian coast available for marine power generation

Despite its relatively young age and the shortage of commercial scale projects, Marine Energy is one of the most promising sectors in the production of electricity from renewable sources, and Italy, with his more than 7000 kilometres of coasts could be one of the leading countries, as far as research, development and implementation of this technology is concern.

But, at the time Italy presents few initiatives looking to marine energy production. The less energy availability in the Mediterranean Sea, compared with the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean, does not mean that Italy has no possibilities to produce energy from marine renewable resources; it only means that a supplementary effort in scientific research will have to be done. Moreover, there is the lack of an appropriate assessment of the energy trapped in coastal waves and currents, which does not permit stakeholders to have a clear vision of the real possibilities of these new technologies along the Italian coasts. In this framework, the implementation of studies concerning the non technological barriers is an urgent need as much as facing technological ones. In this paper it is presented the studies, based on the analysis of the wave climate records from the National wave gauges network (RON) and from the wave gauges of the National electricity board (ENEL) that lead to the elaboration of the “Wave energy potential map” along the Italian coast. The map describes Italian coasts by dividing them into coastal bands, on the basis of the wave power. It will permit public administrations, involved in energy planning, to have a first estimation of the wave energy availability for electrical power generation. In addition, it allows the private sector to perform cost/benefit analysis and rise to the convenience to invest in wave energy power plants.

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