Marine Hydrokinetic Technology (MHK) On Focus In The US

DOE Investment in MHK Technology Poised to Grow

The Department of Energy made major announcements last week and stated the will to significantly advance marine hydrokinetic technology (MHK) and the role of the tidal energy in the US power generation sector.

In the first announcement, President Obama released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request last week, which included $55 million for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Program, with $39.5 million for Marine and Hydrokinetics Technologies (MHK). The request reflects a 14 percent increase from the program’s current $34 million FY12 funding level and will support advanced MHK systems and components, water power systems manufacturing R&D, and support for Wave Energy Converter (WEC) Test Facilities, in conjunction with the US Navy to enable testing of WEC devices.

“This is encouraging for the U.S. water power industry,” said Sean O’Neill, OREC’s president. “MHK technologies, including wave, current and tidal technologies have demonstrated continued progress and promise to deliver clean, affordable and domestic energy to the U.S. grid. The proposed increase demonstrates the Administration’s desire to compete with the rest of the world in commercializing these technologies.  This recent activity sends a clear message across the MHK supply chain that federal commitment to advance the technology and move it into the market is strong, serious, and sustained.  We applaud the DOE leadership, program managers and technical staff on their critical support to date and for making a successful argument for continued federal investment going forward.”

Now that the President’s budget has been released, OREC pledges to work with its supporters in Congress during the FY14 appropriations process to secure a fair level of R&D funding to support MHK commercialization efforts by member organizations.

About the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition

The Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition (OREC) is the only national trade association exclusively dedicated to promoting marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy technologies from clean, renewable ocean resources. Founded in April of 2005, the Coalition has grown to over 60 members including technology developers, consultants, law firms, investor-owned utilities, publicly owned utilities, universities, and scientific and engineering firms. The coalition is working with industry leaders, academic scholars, and other interested NGO’s to encourage ocean renewable technologies and raise awareness of their vast potential to help secure an affordable, reliable, environmentally friendly energy future.

OREC seeks a legislative and regulatory regime in the U.S. that fosters the growth of ocean renewable technologies, their commercial development, and support in the race to capture the rich energy potential of our oceans. While other countries have already deployed viable, operating, power generating projects using the emission-free power of ocean waves, currents, and tidal forces, the U.S. is only beginning to acknowledge the importance of these technologies.

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