Field based estimates of wave power at a nearshore Mediterranean locale for sustainable wave energy harnessing

Spyros Foteinis*, Costas Emmanuel Synolakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Measurements from two Nortek/AWAC acoustic Doppler current profilers deployed for over three years at three sites were used to estimate the nearshore wave energy resource of the Gulf of Chania, in the island of Crete, Greece. Similar to other Mediterranean nearshore locations, low maximum and mean wave power values were observed, i.e., 133 and 2.57 kW/m at ∼20 m depth, respectively. Even though the study sites were in close proximity, considerable differences were observed, highlighting the nearshore effects of shoaling, refraction, and focusing on wave power estimates, and the need for long-term measurements. Short-duration storms (lasting a few days) with high wave power potentials were observed. During summer, the sea was much calmer. The nearshore wave power resource was found unsteady, with coefficients of variation well above 2, while the capacity factors of Pelamis and Oyster wave energy converters were 3.65% and 9.57%, respectively. As a result, existing technology is currently commercially unattractive for the Mediterranean nearshore. Marine renewable energy can play an important role in EU's Blue Growth strategy and assist in meeting the 2050 carbon neutrality target. For this reason, research should focus on downscaling and redesigning wave energy technology to enable sustainable deployment in the Mediterranean nearshore.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103410
JournalSustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments
Early online date26 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP)
  • Inter- and intra-annual (seasonal) variability
  • Marine energy or power
  • Renewable energy source (RES)
  • wave energy converter (WEC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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