Life cycle assessment of ocean energy technologies: A systematic review

María Guadalupe Paredes, Alejandro Padilla-Rivera, Leonor Patricia Güereca*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The increase of greenhouse gases (GHG) generated by the burning of fossil fuels has been recognized as one of the main causes of climate change (CC). Different countries of the world have developed new policies on national energy security directed to the use of renewable energies mainly, ocean energy being one of them. The implementation of ocean energy is increasing worldwide. However, the use of these technologies is not exempt from the generation of potential environmental impacts throughout their life cycle. In this context, life cycle assessment (LCA) is a holistic approach used to evaluate the environmental impacts of a product or system throughout its entire life cycle. LCA studies need to be conducted to foster the development of ocean energy technologies (OET) in sustainable management. In this paper, a systematic review was conducted and 18 LCA studies of OET were analyzed. Most of the LCA studies are focused on wave and tidal energy. CC is the most relevant impact category evaluated, which is generated mostly by raw material extraction, manufacturing stage and shipping operations. Finally, the critical stages of the systems evaluated were identified, together with, the opportunity areas to promote an environmental management for ocean energy developers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number322
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by Fondo CONACYT-SENER/Sustentabilidad Energética through the Centro Mexicano de Inovación en Energías del Océano (CEMIE-Océano), grant number 249795.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering


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