Wave energy conditions in the western French coast

Marta Gonçalves, Paulo Martinho, and C. Guedes Soares – Renewable Energy, February 2014


This paper presents a numerical study of the wave energy distribution in the western French coast, in particular in its pilot zone, as part of an European project, aiming to characterize the wave energy in the Atlantic coast of Europe. For this study two third generation state of the art models are used. A generation model, WAVEWATCH III is used to generate waves for the entire North Atlantic basin, so as to properly account for the swell that arrives at the location and a transformation model, SWAN, models the evolution of the waves in the French coast, as a result of wind forcing.

The model results are validated with measured data from three buoys for three-year period between 1998 and 2000. A good agreement was observed between the measurements and the calculated parameters. Descriptive statistics are presented, which give an idea of the variability of the resources.



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Filed under Modeling, Resource Assessment, Resource Characterization

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