Here, accessibility to near-shore and offshore marine sites is evaluated based on wave and ice conditions. High-resolution third-generation wave model results are used to examine the operation and maintenance conditions for renewable energy sources with a focus on wave energy. Special focus is given to the wave field and ice characteristics for areas within the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone including analysis of return levels for extreme values for significant wave height, which provides guidance for dimensioning wave energy converters. It is shown that the number of weather windows and accessibility are influenced by distance from the coast and sea-ice conditions. The longest waiting periods for the closest weather window that is available for Operation and Maintenance (O&M) is in ice-free conditions shown to be strongly correlated with the fetch conditions. The sheltered Baltic Sea is shown to have very high accessibility if marine infrastructure and vessels are designed for access limits of significant wave height up to 3 m. In the northern basins, the waiting periods increase significantly, if and when the ice-conditions are found to be critical for the O&M activity considered. The ice-conditions are examined based on compiled operational sea-ice data over a climatic time period of 34 years. The results are location specific for the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone, but the analysis methods are transferable and applicable to many other parts of the world, to facilitate assessment of the most promising areas in different regions.
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