Power industry, universities working to develop marine energy technology

Collaborations between the U.S. power industry and academia to develop new technologies for marine power generation are closer than ever before, according to a report by GlobalData.

The new report, “Marine Power (Wave and Tidal) – Installed Capacity, Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), Profiles of Technology Developers and Key Country Analysis to 2030,” shows that approximately 50 tidal projects are in various stages of development throughout the U.S., with many based in Alaska and California. Oregon is the leading generator of hydroelectric power in the U.S. with close to 300 MW of planned projects lined up for development by Finavera Renewables, Oceanlink Limited and Ocean Power Technologies. California is also a potential site for wave energy with more than 1,200 km (745.6 miles) of coastline and a combined annual average deep water power flux of more than 37,000 MW, of which at least 20 percent can be converted into electricity, the report said. That potential wave energy could meet at least 20 percent of electricity use in California. Currently, California and Oregon have three, 100 MW plants planned along with other smaller projects.

Along the East Coast, Maine and New Jersey have suitable conditions for marine energy development. The states of Washington, California, Alaska, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Oregon also hold potential for ocean energy to be harnessed and Hawaii is a favorable site for ocean thermal energy conversion, according to the study.

All ocean energy research in the U.S. is consolidated under the Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC) and the U.S. Navy has continued its support. The Water Power Program by the U.S. Department of Energy has invested more than $87 million in marine and hydrokinetic development projects, and aims to collaborate with universities, laboratories, industry and other agencies to commercially develop and deploy marine technology for power generation in the U.S.

The U.S. currently has a 1 MW tidal energy project delivering electricity to the power grid off the coast of Maine.

To purchase the full report, click here.

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