A 12-year sea-state hindcast for Taiwanese waters, covering the period from 2005 to 2016, was conducted using a fully coupled tide-surge-wave model. The hindcasts of significant wave height and peak period were employed to estimate the wave power resources in the waters surrounding Taiwan. Numerical simulations based on unstructured grids were converted to structured grids with a resolution of 25 × 25 km. The spatial distribution maps of offshore annual mean wave power were created for each year and for the 12-year period. Waters with higher wave power density were observed off the northern, northeastern, southeastern (south of Green Island and southeast of Lanyu) and southern coasts of Taiwan. Five energetic sea areas with spatial average annual total wave energy density of 60–90 MWh/m were selected for further analysis. The 25 × 25 km square grids were then downscaled to resolutions of 5 × 5 km, and five 5 × 5 km optimal areas were identified for wave energy converter deployments. The spatial average annual total wave energy yields at the five optimal areas (S1)–(S5) were estimated to be 64.3, 84.1, 84.5, 111.0 and 99.3 MWh/m, respectively. The prevailing wave directions for these five areas lie between east and northeast.