Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title





School of Engineering




Choupin, O., Henriksen, M., Etemad-Shahidi, A., & Tomlinson, R. (2021). Breaking-down and parameterising wave energy converter costs using the CapEx and similitude methods. Energies, 14(4), article 902.


Wave energy converters (WECs) can play a significant role in the transition towards a more renewable-based energy mix as stable and unlimited energy resources. Financial analysis of these projects requires WECs cost and WEC capital expenditure (CapEx) information. However, (i) cost information is often limited due to confidentiality and (ii) the wave energy field lacks flexible methods for cost breakdown and parameterisation, whereas they are needed for rapid and optimised WEC configuration and worldwide site pairing. This study takes advantage of the information provided by Wavepiston to compare different costing methods. The work assesses the Froude-Law-similarities-based “Similitude method” for cost-scaling and introduces the more flexible and generic “CapEx method” divided into three steps: (1) distinguishing WEC’s elements from the wave energy farm (WEF)’s; (2) defining the parameters characterising the WECs, WEFs, and site locations; and (3) estimating elements that affect WEC and WEF elements’ cost and translate them into factors using the parameters defined in step (2). After validation from Wavepiston manual estimations, the CapEx method showed that the factors could represent up to 30% of the cost. The Similitude method provided slight cost-overestimations compared to the CapEx method for low WEC up-scaling, increasing exponentially with the scaling.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research Themes

Natural and Built Environments

Priority Areas

Sustainability of energy, water, materials and resources