The Australian Wave Energy (AWavEA) project was a three-year project led by CSIRO with funding support from the ARENA Emerging Renewables Program, and in collaboration with the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Australian Maritime College/ University of Tasmania (AMC/ UTas), Carnegie Clean Energy Ltd, Biopower Systems and Swinburne University of Technology. The AWavEA project was established with an aim to address three key knowledge gaps that were impeding development of the Australian wave energy industry:
a. Limited (scientifically credible and industry independent) knowledge of the resource, includingits temporal and spatial variability and its spectral characteristics
b. Difficulty accessing spatial information identifying multiple designated marine management regimes of Australian marine territories
c. Limited evidence-base andmethodology for assessing impacts of wave energy extraction on the marine and coastal environment.
These needs were identified through dialogue with industry representatives prior to the start of the project, and with ongoing stakeholder engagement throughout the project. By seeking to fill these knowledge gaps and share the knowledge gained with all stakeholders, the project ultimately aimed to provide benefit for continued growth of Australia's wave energy industry and to make a contribution towards improved competitiveness and supply of renewable energy technology and progress towards a sustainable energy economy for Australia.
In order to address these three needs, two principle outcomes were planned and implemented:
– the Australian Wave Energy Atlas, providing a revised wave energy resource assessment, and
– Guidelines for Physical Impact Assessment, based on field study and a numerical modelling study.
These were delivered through four streams of project activity: A. Stakeholder Input; B. Wave Atlas portal development, resource assessment, and data management; C. Field program and numerical modelling study; and D. provision of the Atlas and data for long-term management.