This page describes the available wave energy available in Fiji.

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Wave Energy in Fiji

The regional analysis of the cost of wave energy (See here) concluded that the South West of Fiji could be suitable to support a wave energy converter. But no location had been identified as a potential wave energy site. This page expands the regional wave energy analysis to the South of Viti Levu to identify suitable wave energy conversion hotspots.

Finding suitable wave energy sites

Bathymetry consideration

Fiji is one of the few countries in the Pacific where the bathymetry would allow the installation of any type of wave energy converters. Wave energy converters can be divided in these three categories: Offshorwe, Nearshore and onshore devices.

Benchmark device

Wave energy converters come with different cost and efficiency. The cost of operation and maintenance and on the environment can also vary greatly and it can be very hard to decide whether Fiji would benefit more from one type of device at a location or another device elsewhere. It is impossible to compare the cost and efficiency of all the wave energy converters because they are not all at the same stage of development. For example, some devices only have a theoretical efficiency while other more advance wave energy converters have a measured (i.e. verified) efficiency. In order to help with decision on what device would be more suitable for Fiji, we calculate the cost of energy generation of one wave energy converter, the Pelamis.

From the many wave energy devices developed globally, the Pelamis wave energy converter is one of only two to have reached commercial readiness. Although Pelamis Wave Power Ltd, the firm behind the device, went into administration at the time of writing this report, the milestones reached and the research behind the Pelamis device are unprecedented and unmatched by any other device. Because of the large amount of literature on the Pelamis, it is still a benchmark and, although it is unlikely that more Pelamis devices will ever be built (at least under the same name), the device’s physical characteristics and cost evaluation can be used to probe the economic feasibility of wave energy.

Pelamis costs

Cost Type Cost range
Operation and Maintenance US$ 1.72 - 8.48 million
Total US$ 6.32 - 14.10 million

Wave Power and energy cost for pre-selected sites

Site name Mean available wave power (kW/m) Annual Pelamis power output (MWh) OM cost range (USD/MWh) Total cost range (USD/MWh)
Fiji WB1 23.8 1018 68 - 333 248 - 554
Kadavu 22.5 966 71 - 351 262 - 584
South - West Kadavu 31.1 889 77 - 382 289 - 635
South Kadavu 29.4 843 82 - 402 300 - 669
South Vatulele 26.4 715 96 - 474 354 - 789
Natadola 22.3 473 145 - 717 535 - 1193
South East Kadavu 17.7 467 147 - 726 541 - 1209
Desperation Reef 23.8 465 148 - 729 543 - 1213
Cuvu Bay 21.9 432 159 - 785 585 - 1306
Outrigger 18.6 418 165 - 811 605-1351

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