Atlas to map Australia’s wave energy

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency today announced $1.3 million funding for CSIRO to undertake an innovative wave resource mapping and modelling project.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the funding would enable CSIRO to develop a publically accessible wave energy atlas that would allow users to better assess the feasibility of wave power projects off Australian shores.

“This project builds on CSIRO’s previous work and is an important step forward in enabling more wave energy projects to come to the fore in Australia,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“It involves a collaboration that will see data from weather mapping, satellites, measuring stations and a variety of other sources fed into a complex wave modelling application.

“The resulting wave resource information will be presented via an online portal that will allow users to assess the feasibility of wave power projects.

“The portal will also display geographic information on marine usage, for example showing whether a stretch of ocean is heritage listed, a marine park or a shipping lane.

“Such a tool would be of tremendous value for an emerging industry and for anyone assessing the viability of wave power.”

Carnegie Wave Energy Limited’s Perth Wave Energy Project, off Garden Island in Western Australia, will be monitored as part of the project, allowing CSIRO to improve the assessment of the impact of wave energy plants.

Mr Frischknecht said the data would be used to establish best practice guidelines for wave impact modelling for industry.
“This data will be invaluable in the planning stages of future projects,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“It has the potential to give new wave power projects a head start with permits and approvals by more effectively predicting any impact on the surrounding marine environment.

“Australia has some of the best wave resources in the world and we’re only just starting to tap into the ocean’s potential to produce reliable, renewable energy.”

The project will be carried out in stages over the next three years and is scheduled for completion in 2017.

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