The H2020 funded WETFEET project started from the in-depth understanding of the main constraints that have been slowing down the development of wave energy to propose, study and develop a set of technology solutions (‘breakthroughs’) to address these constraints. These breakthroughs were studied having as a reference two wave energy concepts: the OWC (Oscillating Water Column) and the Symphony. The main avenues of research in the project were: 1) Survivability breakthrough via device submergence under storm conditions; 2) O&M (operation and maintenance) breakthrough via continuous submergence and adaption of components and strategies; 3) PTO (power take-off) breakthrough via the development of new materials for submerged polymeric PTO and the analysis and development of innovative electro-mechanic solutions; 4) Array breakthrough via sharing of mooring and electrical connections between nearby devices, as well as integral approach to device interaction and compact aggregates; 5) Increased device performance via the practical implementation and functionality of a negative spring for an OWC. The paper summarizes the scope of the project and the comprehensive methodological framework that was developed for the evaluation of the potential benefits of the breakthroughs, relying on the comparison with reference cases with no integration of breakthroughs. The main results and conclusions are presented. In general, the implementation of the breakthroughs revealed improvements in the LCOE (levelized cost of energy – the main metrics considered in the methodology). Shared moorings shown the most promising results, with LCOE reductions in the order of 20-25%.

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School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics