South African Wave Energy Resource Data

South African Wave Energy Resource Data

A Case Study

May 2013

Dr. J. R. Joubert

Prof. J.L. van Niekerk



An assessment of the South African wave energy resource was conducted through the analysis of measured and modelled wave data. Wave data recorded at wave measuring stations, representative of the various coastal zones of South Africa, was evaluated and it was found that the southwest coast has the highest wave power resource with a median value of wave power of approximately 26 kW/m. A detailed assessment of the spatial distribution of wave power off the southwest coast was conducted and it was found that the average deep-sea resource ranges from 33 kW/m to 41 kW/m. Results of a detailed assessment of the wave power resource for Table Bay on the southwest coast were presented as an example case study. The study focussed on Granger Bay as a possible deployment site for a shore based wave energy converter. A wave energy focal point was identified just north of Robben Island.

The conclusion from the study is that South Africa does have a significant wave energy resource along the southwest coast that could be exploited as a source of

renewable energy. It is recommended that spatial distribution maps of wave power be generated for a larger section of the South African coast. This will assist developers of wave energy technology and projects to identify the best suited locations for the deployment of their devices.