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Feasibility analysis of offshore renewables penetrating local energy systems in remote oceanic areas – A case study of emissions from an electricity system with tidal power in Southern Alaska


  • Li, Ye
  • Willman, Lindsay


In many remote areas, expensive fossil fuels such as diesel are used to meet local electricity demand. However, their environmental impact is significant. Consequently, some of these areas have started to use hybrid systems that combine renewable energy sources and fossil fuel generation, such as wind-diesel systems, although wind is not feasible in some remote locations and fossil fuels remain the only resource in these areas. Fortunately, offshore renewable energy sources are available in many remote areas close to the ocean. In order to understand the feasibility of using offshore renewables in remote oceanic areas, we recently conducted a systematic study by developing an integrated model. This model includes a supply module, demand module, environmental impact module, and integrating module. Using this model, we mainly study the reduction in emissions resulting from offshore renewable energy penetration in local energy systems. In this article, we present this integrated model and an example study of tidal energy in the Southern Alaska community of Elfin Cove, which relies on diesel fuel for all of its electricity requirements. With 56kW of tidal power penetrating the energy system, we found that almost 12,000 gallons of diesel fuel are displaced per year. This results in an annual emissions reduction of almost 244,000lb CO2 and about 1400lb CO, as well as considerable reductions of PM-10, NOx, and SOx. The newly developed integrated model is expected to be used to analyze other aspects of tidal energy (and offshore renewable energy in general) in remote areas. For example, since the electricity demand in some remote areas varies significantly throughout the year, we recommend that tidal power should be used with a storage system.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Ye & Willman, Lindsay, 2014. "Feasibility analysis of offshore renewables penetrating local energy systems in remote oceanic areas – A case study of emissions from an electricity system with tidal power in Southern Alaska," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 42-53.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:117:y:2014:i:c:p:42-53
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2013.09.032

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    Cited by:

    1. Jahanshahi, Akram & Kamali, Mohammadreza & Khalaj, Mohammadreza & Khodaparast, Zahra, 2019. "Delphi-based prioritization of economic criteria for development of wave and tidal energy technologies," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 819-827.
    2. Veigas, M. & López, M. & Iglesias, G., 2014. "Assessing the optimal location for a shoreline wave energy converter," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 404-411.
    3. Keskin Citiroglu, H. & Okur, A., 2014. "An approach to wave energy converter applications in Eregli on the western Black Sea coast of Turkey," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 738-747.
    4. Alvarez, Eduardo Alvarez & Rico-Secades, Manuel & Suárez, Daniel Fernández & Gutiérrez-Trashorras, Antonio J. & Fernández-Francos, Joaquín, 2016. "Obtaining energy from tidal microturbines: A practical example in the Nalón River," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 100-112.
    5. Laura Castro-Santos & Ana Rute Bento & Carlos Guedes Soares, 2020. "The Economic Feasibility of Floating Offshore Wave Energy Farms in the North of Spain," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(4), pages 1-19, February.
    6. Garrett Staines & Gayle Zydlewski & Haley Viehman, 2019. "Changes in Relative Fish Density Around a Deployed Tidal Turbine during on-Water Activities," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(22), pages 1-12, November.
    7. González-Gorbeña, Eduardo & Qassim, Raad Y. & Rosman, Paulo C.C., 2016. "Optimisation of hydrokinetic turbine array layouts via surrogate modelling," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 45-57.


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