Waveplam is a European project funded under the programme Intelligent Energy Europe, which aims at tackling non-technological barriers that may hinder the installation of wave energy projects and to speed up their introduction onto the European renewable energy market.
Inside Waveplam, one of the objectives is to generate recommendations for public or private promoters and investors to guide them through the process of planning and implementing a wave energy project.
The first task for achieving this objective consists of the development of a methodology for site selection. This paper introduces the methodology, which will try to help decision making through the definition of two stages. These stages relate to different levels of detail in the information promoters are going to require when planning installations at the sea.
In the first stage, gathering general information on the site will be necessary. The methodology will list the necessary information, as for example wave resource, availability of grid, proximity to end users, environmental protection areas and interference with other uses of the coast among others.
In the second stage further information gathering will begin. Ideally but not essentially, this will involve integrating the data as layers into a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) tool, given the spatial nature of the project. This tool will provide an accurate and convenient visual aid for choosing a suitable area.