Quantifying the uncertainty of wave energy conversion device cost for policy appraisal: An Irish case study

Niall Farrell, Cathal O’Donoghue, Karyn Morrissey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wave Energy Conversion (WEC) devices are at a pre-commercial stage of development with feasibility studies sensitive to uncertainties surrounding assumed input costs. This may affect decision making. This paper analyses the impact these uncertainties may have on investor, developer and policymaker decisions using an Irish case study. Calibrated to data present in the literature, a probabilistic methodology is shown to be an effective means to carry this out. Value at Risk (VaR) and Conditional Value at Risk (CVaR) metrics are used to quantify the certainty of achieving a given cost or return on investment. We analyse the certainty of financial return provided by the proposed Irish Feed-in Tariff (FiT) policy. The influence of cost reduction through bulk discount is also discussed, with cost reduction targets for developers identified. Uncertainty is found to have a greater impact on the profitability of smaller installations and those subject to lower rates of cost reduction. This paper emphasises that a premium is required to account for cost uncertainty when setting FiT rates. By quantifying uncertainty, a means to specify an efficient premium is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-77
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume78
Early online date24 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

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