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.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited