The Central and South Pacific have significant wave energy resources distributed through the region that are currently not being explored. Even though the wave energy resource in the Pacific has been studied, there is limited knowledge on the potential obstacles when inserting this new energy source into a unique and unexplored environment. Pacific Island countries (PICs) have distinctive characteristics that can become barriers to this technology, especially considering that local coastal and marine systems are fundamental for subsistence and local development. Thus, the success of a project relies on local acceptance. The current study developed an integrative conceptual framework for the PICs (ICFPICs) that derived from the integration of the elements of a political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal (PESTEL) structured approach and further combined with a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) approach to create a matrix that included relevant internal and external factors influencing a project. Four islands were analyzed through the ICFPICs to demonstrate the varying characteristics and challenges in the Pacific environment; the islands were Tubuai (French Polynesia), Viti Levu (Fiji), Rarotonga (Cook Islands), and ‘Eua (Tonga). Applying the ICFPICs to each island shows that Tubuai has significant technological issues, Rarotonga has mostly economic issues, Viti Levu is the most developed island but also has several potential issues in the social sphere, while ‘Eua has the fewest issues and is a viable candidate for further analysis. The ICFPICs can be used by decision makers, project developers, and stakeholders to recognize probable barriers when bringing wave energy technologies to the PICs and make informed decisions during the pre-feasibility stage.