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Dahlsten, Hilda, 2009. Life cycle assessment of electricity from wave power. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Energy and Technology



The use of ocean wave energy for electricity production has considerable potential,
though it has proven to be difficult. A technology utilizing the heaving (up-and-down)
motions of the waves was conceived at Uppsala University in the early 2000´s, and is
being further developed for commercial use by Seabased Industry AB.
The purpose of this master´s degree project was to increase the knowledge of the
environmental performance of Seabased´s wave energy conversion concept and
identifying possible areas of improvement. This was done by conducting a life cycle
assessment (LCA) of a hypothetical prototype wave power plant. All flows of
materials, energy, emissions and waste were calculated for all stages of a wave
power plant´s life cycle. The potential environmental impact of these flows was then
assessed, using the following impact categories:
- Emission of greenhouse gases
- Emission of ozone depleting gases
- Emission of acidifying gases
- Emission of gases that contribute to the forming of ground-level ozone
- Emission of substances to water contributing to oxygen depletion (eutrophication)
- Energy use (renewable and non-renewable)
- Water use
The methodology used was that prescribed by the ISO standard for Environmental
Product Declarations (EPD) and further defined by the International EPD
Programme.The potential environmental impact was calculated per kWh of wave
power electricity delivered to the grid.
The main result of the study is that the potential environmental impact of a wave
power plant mainly stems from the manufacturing phase. In particular, the production
of steel parts makes a large contribution to the overall results. Future wave power
plant designs are expected to be considerably more material efficient, meaning that
there are large possibilities to improve the environmental performance of this

Main title:Life cycle assessment of electricity from wave power
Authors:Dahlsten, Hilda
Supervisor:Hansson, Per-Anders and Sundberg, Jan
Examiner:Tengblad, Ulla
Series:Examensarbete / Institutionen för energi och teknik, SLU
Volume/Sequential designation:2009:08
Year of Publication:2009
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:TENSY Energy Systems Engineering (admitted before July 1, 2007) 270 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Energy and Technology
Keywords:Life cycle assessment, Wave power, Uppsala, Environmental impact, Renewable energy
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Renewable energy resources
Deposited On:22 Mar 2013 08:05
Metadata Last Modified:22 Mar 2013 08:05

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