Next-Generation Marine Energy Software Needs Assessment

Kelley Ruehl, Jorge Leon, Carlos Michelen, Mathew Topper, Nathan Tom, Elena Baca, David Ogden

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Over the past decade the marine energy industry has continued to grow and evolve, with new concepts and technologies constantly being pursued. Additionally, the field of computing is vastly different today than it was five or ten years ago. By utilizing advanced software and hardware architectures, like graphics processing units as well as parallelization and high-performance computing resources, software can produce higher quality outputs and a higher volume of outputs. These software and hardware resources can enable the marine energy community to exploit computational advancements from other research fields, which can include machine learning, differentiable programming, and controls co-design. Better integration of existing software and development of potential new software is necessary to take advantage of trends in modern computing and respond to the current and future needs of the marine energy community. In order to better understand the existing marine energy software landscape and industry needs, DOE's Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) tasked Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to update the needs assessment by identifying existing software gaps and software needs, and assisting WPTO in planning the next wave of marine energy software development. The proposed effort involved cataloguing and analyzing the available data on existing software related to marine energy. The marine energy software landscape has vastly changed in the last ten years. There are now nearly 230 different software packages utilized by the marine energy sector, compared to a decade ago when the Cardinal Engineering survey identified approximately 40 software packages. In 2012, the marine energy software landscape was captured in two tables, whereas the current marine energy software landscape required development of a software database to collect and categorize software.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages113
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5700-84936

Other Report Number

  • SAND2023-03906R


  • marine energy
  • modeling needs assessment
  • numerical modeling
  • software


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