Australian Wave Energy Atlas

This project will develop an online national wave energy atlas that will allow users to better assess the feasibility of wave power projects.

Lead organisation:
Hobart, TAS
Ocean energy
ARENA program:
Emerging Renewables Program
Start date:
July 2014


The Australian wave energy atlas will build on CSIRO’s earlier assessments of Australia’s national wave energy resource. The project will be carried out in stages and is scheduled for completion in 2017.


Australia has some of the best wave energy resources in the world. It’s estimated that wave power has the potential to play a large part in Australia’s future energy mix, and could supply 10% of our energy by 2050.

Three key knowledge gaps in Australia’s wave energy industry will be addressed by this project:

  1. limited credible and independent knowledge of the Australia’s wave resources
  2. difficulty accessing information across all Australian marine territories
  3. limited evidence-base and methodology for assessing impacts of wave energy extraction on the marine and coastal environment.

Project innovation

The project will deliver:

  1. A searchable, free and publically available online web atlas of Australia’s national wave energy resource and marine management uses.

The online atlas will use data from weather mapping, satellites, measuring stations and a variety of other sources, which will be fed into a complex wave modelling application.

The atlas will also display geographic information on marine usage, for example showing:

  • heritage listed areas
  • marine parks
  • shipping lanes
  • port infrastructure
  • oil and gas infrastructure and pipelines
  • aquaculture.
  1. Best practice guidelines on physical impact assessments for wave energy developments in Australia’s marine domain.

Australia’s most advanced wave energy project, Carnegie Wave Energy Limited’s Perth Wave Energy Project, off Garden Island in Western Australia, will be monitored using in-water oceanographic sensors, and the impacts of energy extraction assessed using numerical models. This will allow CSIRO to establish best practice guidelines for assessing the potential impact of wave energy plants on the physical marine and coastal environment.


The Australian wave energy atlas and best practice guidelines will provide considerable benefit for an emerging industry by giving new wave power projects a head start when preparing information to obtain the necessary permits and approvals for new proposals.

More Information

Media release – 23 July 2014: Atlas to map Australia’s wave energy

Contact information

Dr Mark Hemer, Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship
+61 3 6232 5017