In the context of the climate change effects, extraction of marine renewable energy became an issue of increasing importance, representing one of the great challenges of the 21 st century. While the land is almost saturated with wind farms and solar panels, the marine environment provides large spaces with huge renewable energy resources. Although the wave energy was initially considered as the most important vector in the marine renewable energy matrix, the offshore wind had an incredible advance. Thus, the attempt of extending rapidly the wind industry from onshore to offshore can be considered a real success and the process is still ongoing. On the other hand, the very high dynamics of the offshore wind, noticed in the last decade, should provide also momentum to the wave energy industry, which will benefit by the existing infrastructure of the wind farms considering the collocation approach as well as by the considerable experience acquired by the offshore industry.
Since the number of wave energy farms is at this moment quite limited, being operational mostly some pilot projects, there is no relevant practical experience in this direction and the possible effects expected from the future wave farms are not yet very well assessed. From this perspective, the objective of the present work is to provide a general and more comprehensive picture of the possible impact of future wave energy farms in the coastal dynamics. The methodology considered is based on the ISSM computational environment . ISSM stands for the Interface for SWAN and Surf Models and, as its name indicates, this is a computational environment joining together in a MATLAB user-friendly interface a wave model (SWAN) with a nearshore circulation model (SURF). This computational environment was tested and validated considering different nearshore areas and configurations of the environmental matrix .
Thus, using ISSM computational tool, different configuration designs have been evaluated in various coastal areas. A first coastal environment targeted was the Portuguese continental nearshore, which has a very good potential in wave energy resources and with some pilot projects being implemented there [3-6]. Another nearshore area targeted is Sardinia Island in the Mediterranean Sea , taking into account that its western side is more energetic and also that in island environment the issue of extracting wave energy is of crucial importance. Finally, the last coastal environment considered in the present analysis is the western side of the Black Sea [8, 9]. Although not comparable from the point of view of the wave energy with the ocean coasts, this nearshore faces in general relatively high waves and it is subjected to a very dynamic erosion process.