The Scenario Creation tool – a structured approach to concept generation for wave energy

Across the wave sector, innovators have identified the need for an organised and logical approach to the generation of new wave energy concepts. Responses to this requirement are exemplified by projects such as Wave-SPARC and the Structured Innovation tool delivered as part of the Horizon 2020 funded project DTOceanPlus. WES have developed the Scenario Creation Tool to provide a structured approach to wave energy concept creation through Project SEAWEED. 

The Scenario Creation Tool provides a structured method for the earliest stages of design. The core function of the scenario creation tool is to generate and rank scenarios of potential Wave Energy Converter (WEC) attributes and inform the user on the areas of the parameter space that are most likely to yield commercial success.  

This techno-economic tool uses a structured innovation approach to identify commercially attractive and technically achievable scenarios, with a scoring system based on their power performance and costs. This is done by leveraging power limits generated by a WEC design optimisation tool and achievability threshold data from theory and WEC state-of-the-art data. The resulting list of scored solutions are characterized based on energy resource level, WEC hull shape, size, material, degree of freedom for power extraction, and efficiency.  

The Scenario Creation Tool can support private and public investors, helping to inform their strategy for future funding calls, and assists technology developers and researchers to identify new avenues of innovation. 

The power of the tool is in the built-in physics, engineering and economics relationships which work to provide a ranking for each scenario based on calculated scores for ‘commercial attractiveness’ and ‘technical achievability’.  The unique aspect of the tool is that the user can start with a ‘blank piece of paper’, when there is no initial design or concept, from which it generates attractive and achievable scenarios. These support the user in proceeding to develop the scenarios into concepts, initial design and on to more detailed design.  

Using this structured approach from the very beginning of technology development increases the likelihood of success by avoiding reliance on a stroke of genius or predefined bias about which designs are favourable. 

This work has been supported by the H2020 project DTOceanPlus (Advanced Design Tools for Ocean Energy Systems Innovation, Development and Deployment). The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 785921. 

Questions and comments on this work are welcome and should be addressed to Jillian Henderson at 



Jillian presenting SEAWEED at Marine Energy Wales annual conference 2022

Jillian presenting SEAWEED at Marine Energy Wales annual conference 2022