Annual Report 2018

Task 12 - Performance Metrics International Framework for Ocean Energy

A more rigorous technical review approach for the ocean energy sector has been recognised to be important at this stage, making use of improved evaluation methods and metrics that are currently applied in due diligence review and evaluation of ocean energy technologies.

Considering the experience and lessons learned for more than two decades of ocean energy technology and market development, a detailed monitoring of progress and success should have the following characteristics:

  • Need to differentiate among the various needs of the development stages from R&D, Prototype, Demonstration, to Pre-Commercial and Industrial Roll-out;
  • Need to define specific criteria to each development stage;
  • A connection must be made between the performance criteria and the availability of certain types of support in the form of public and private funding;
  • The process should use continued feasibility checks on the OE technology potential with an increasing focus on LCOE as the technology matures.

After an initial period of focusing on the technological feasibility where the only metric used was the successful technology evolution to higher TRL levels, economics and other social acceptance criteria have been identified to be considered at an early development stage for ocean energy technology.


Start date: 2017
End date: Permanent

Matthijs Soede, European Commission

All member countries

OES Website

The objective of this task is to build clarity, information and understanding to support the definition of a fully defined set of metrics and success thresholds for wave energy technologies. These “stage gate measurements of success” in interrelated topic areas are linked to a top-level optimisation of Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) – the key metric into which all others inevitably feed. This provides a significant international challenge since a final definition of metrics and success thresholds will, to some extent, be specific to a technology area and perhaps to the type of market targeted.

An internationally accepted approach provides device developers, national and international funding
organizations, and the development community the following benefits:

  • The ability to measure technology development progress and success;
  • A methodology to assist in the management of competitive innovation calls that can compare the viability of competing technologies;
  • An approach for ensuring appropriate allocation of funding to the most promising technologies;
  • A set of metrics to measure technology progress to illustrate the impact of funding;
  • An internationally accepted and credible marker of success to aid in building technology confidence in investors and other stakeholders.
  • The ability to make cross technology funding comparisons to help avoid replication or repetition of funding of technologies by numerous funders with similar objectives;
  • Decision making assistance for private and public funders.

International collaboration in the development of tools such as metrics creates value through the facilitation of cross-funder comparisons and benchmarking. Common agreement of the method for assessing technologies and the associated success thresholds allow various funding organisations to learn from others, compare programmes, and avoid repetition and replication. This way the international collaboration encourages collaboration among developers and funders and fosters standardisation of processes and designs.


This task is built on the methods and ongoing performance metrics processes for wave energy technology being developed mainly in UK by the Wave Energy Scotland and in USA by NREL. In 2018, OES organised a workshop to assess the current practices and usage of technology performance metrics for ocean energy and to discuss an approach for developing an internationally accepted set of performance metrics for ocean energy development.