Significant advancements have been made in the past few decades (since the 1980s) on detailed evaluation and quantification of wave resources globally. Larger availability and advances of computational resources have contributed to the utilisation of numerical wave models as powerful tools in climatic and energy studies. This review presents current state-of-the-art numerical tools and their status in the process of wave power assessments. We focus on the evolution of studies undertaken at the European coastline regions and the Black Sea.
Although, a number of studies have been successfully developed and implemented in the past contributing to our understanding of the resource, this paper discusses the benefits, limitations and potential for improvement of numerical tools. From the literature, it is evident that different applications and scale may require different models, however, it is also the experience and knowledge of the user, applied in the tuning of a number of parameters that govern the process of wave generation, propagation, and the quality of input parameters that are the cornerstones of a successful model. This review depicted that the use of numerical wave models, depending on specific region and application, offers significant benefits on quantification of coastal zone wave resources which benefit multiple offshore applications and the energy industry.