An assessment of nearshore wave energy resource along the Portuguese coast is presented, focusing on identify appropriate locations for testing and developing Wave Energy Converter (WEC) for commercial exploit. The analysis covers the whole west seaside, to which a partition defined by 7 linear sections parallel to the coastline at 50 m depth was considered. Available wave energy at each linear sector was calculated from nearshore wave parameters, using as input the offshore wave conditions provided by a 15-year ocean wind-wave model simulation and considering a simplified but well-established analytical procedure for shoreward wave transformation. Two alternative measures of the nearshore wave energy resource were considered, the standard omni-directional wave power density and the more restricted normally-directed wave energy flux.
Offshore wave direction combine to shoreline orientation proved to be determinant on the evaluation of the wave energy resource in each section, since sectors of the shoreline directly facing the offshore annual average wave direction have limited reduction in available wave energy as compare to offshore values. Independently of the wave energy measured criteria used, the analysis suggests that the sector from Peniche to Nazaré is the more suitable location for nearshore wave energy exploitation, with annual wave energy around 200 MWh m−1, closely followed by the adjacent sector from Nazaré to Figueira da Foz.