In the present work, in order to investigate the nearshore wave energy resources, the third-generation wave model SWAN is utilised to simulate wave parameters of the Shandong peninsula in China for 16 years (1996–2011). The wind parameters used to simulate waves are obtained by the Weather Research & Forecasting Model (WRF). The modelling results of wave are validated by observation data. The spatial distributions of significant wave height and wave energy density are analysed under both extreme and mean wave conditions. The wave energy resources of the Chengshantou headland, with the highest wave energy density, the Langyatai headland and the Yellow River Delta are also studied in detail. For the above three sites, the mean month averaged wave energy is investigated, the wave energy resources are characterised in terms of wave state parameters, and wave energy roses are introduced. The values of extreme high and time-averaged nearshore wave energy density are 296 kW/m and 5.1 kW/m respectively.