Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Abstract Gradually increasing interest in utilisation of wave energy through development of wave energy converters is directing more attention to areas of lower energy potential, such as the Baltic Sea, compared to the oceans. In this paper, the theoretical wave power potential in the Lithuanian coast is evaluated using available multi-year visual observation data. A brief review of European wave energy resources, focusing more on semi-enclosed seas, is provided, as well as a comparison between wave energy potential and conventional hydropower potential in European countries. A conventional hydrological method, designed for calculating a distribution of annual hydrologic variables, was adopted to evaluate the design wave heights. Wave power flux values for monthly, seasonal and annual wave conditions were evaluated for high, median and low intensity years. In addition multi-year annual and seasonal wave power fluxes were calculated using scatter diagrams. The wave power flux for annual wave heights along the Lithuanian coast varies from 1.6 kW/m in a high intensity year to 0.4 kW/m in a low intensity year, which makes the near-shore wave power potential along the Lithuanian coast comparable with that of other European semi-enclosed seas.