Australia maps wave energy potential

The Australian Wave Energy Atlas shows the strongest wave energy resource in Australia is along the southern coast (Image: CSIRO)
Australian Wave Energy Atlas shows the strongest wave energy resource in Australia is along the southern coast (Image: CSIRO)

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has released a new atlas mapping Australian wave data and displaying potentially suitable areas for wave energy deployment.

The Australian Wave Energy Atlas brings together more than 35 years of wave data which can be visualized as a map of Australia.

The atlas, developed by CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere and co-funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), shows the resource to be strongest along the southern coast from Perth to Melbourne.

Mark Hemer, Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO and Atlas Project Leader, said the atlas also incorporates important marine spatial restraints such as aquaculture and fishing zones, marine protected areas, port facilities and the location of oil and gas leases.

“This information is then incorporated into ARENA’s Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Infrastructure visualization tool which shows wave resource data, a spatial representation of other marine uses and infrastructure and other energy and electricity sector information to be viewed together,” said Hemer.

The Australian Atlas was launched at Australia’s first Ocean Renewable Energy Symposium in Melbourne last month, where a commitment was made to deliver on a strategy for the growth of the wave energy industry.

“Europe has been a major investor in wave energy projects and is expected to have a total installed capacity of 26MW by 2018. Australia has a planned installed capacity of around 3.5MW,” added Hemer. “We hope the atlas will help Australian industry, their financiers, and the policy makers make informed decisions about where wave energy devices have the best chance of success.”

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