Wave energy a viable option for Pacific Island countries, study finds

Illustration (Photo: flickr/Anathea Utley)

The Pacific Community (SPC), a scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, has released a study which states that wave energy could be a cost-effective energy resource for Pacific Island countries and territories.

The study ‘Cost analysis of wave energy in the Pacific’ analysed wave energy resources in the Pacific and calculated the costs and potential power generation of a wave energy converter in a variety of locations, to determine whether wave energy could be a feasible alternative to fossil fuels.

It identifies wave energy potential for Pacific Island countries and territories exposed to the southern ocean swells, such as French Polynesia, Tonga, Cook Islands and New Caledonia.

Cyprien Bosserelle, SPC Coastal Oceanographer who led the European Union-funded study, said: “The best candidates for this renewable energy technology are islands south of latitude 20ºS because they receive substantially more wave energy from southern ocean swells.”

The study finds that the cost of generating energy using waves is equal to other renewable energies, such as wind and solar, and that in some Pacific sites it could compete with the cost of diesel generators.

Cameron Diver, SPC Deputy Director-General, added: “This latest SPC study suggests that wave energy is a genuine contender for the development of renewable energy in the Pacific, and provides important data to support decision-making. The deployment of wave energy converters in the Pacific could provide an opportunity for the technology to prove itself in the region and attract the attention of investors, policy-makers and decision-makers around the world.”

The research was made possible by the ACP Caribbean and Pacific Research Programme for Sustainable Development, funded by the European Union and implemented by the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.

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