Wave energy resource assessment in Lanzarote (Spain)


J.P. Sierra, D. González-Marco, J. Sospedra, X. Gironella, C. Mösso, and A. Sánchez-Arcilla – Renewable Energy, July, 2014

Abstract

Lanzarote (Canary Islands, Spain) is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (since 1993) located in the Atlantic Ocean. The island is aiming to change its energy production model in order to reduce its dependence on external, fossil-fuel-based energy sources. The local authorities hope to develop an energy production model based on clean, renewable sources, such as wave energy converters (WECs). This study analyses the island’s wave energy resources using a 51-year series of data obtained from numerical modelling (hindcast and forecast). The spatial distribution of wave power is analysed using data from nine points around the island. Significant resources (average wave power exceeding 30 kW/m and average annual wave energy of more than 270 MW h/m) are found to the north of the island, as well as to the west and the east (average wave power 25–30 kW/m). Considerable seasonal variability is found, with winters being rather high-energetic and summers quite mild. Variability coefficients are computed in order to select the best locations for WECs; the composition of the resource at each location is examined in terms of sea states in order to evaluate the suitability of WEC installation. Finally, three sites with similar conditions, all located on the north side of the island, are selected as the best candidates for WEC deployment.

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