The investment is part of President Obama’s initiative to deploy every available source of American energy
The US Department of Energy has announced $16 million worth of funding for seventeen projects to help sustainably and efficiently capture energy from waves, tides and currents. The aim is to increase the power production and reliability of wave and tidal devices while helping to gather valuable data on how devices can interact with the surrounding environment.
“Wave and tidal energy represent a large, untapped resource for the United States and responsible development of this clean, renewable energy source is an important part of our all-of-the-above energy strategy” said David Danielson, the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
The Department’s latest nationwide wave and tidal energy resource assessments have identified up to 1,400 terawatt hours of potential generation per year. One terawatt hour of electricity is enough to power 85,000 homes and so developing a small fraction of the available wave and tidal energy could allow millions of American homes to be powered by clean, reliable renewable energy.
Eight of the projects will help US companies to develop efficient wave and tidal devices while reducing cost and maximising the amount of energy captured. These projects will employ new drivetrain, generator and structural components as well as software that predicts ocean conditions and adjust the settings on these devices accordingly in order to optimize power production. ABB, for example, will develop an affordable, efficient generator that is half the size of a conventional generator. Ocean Energy USA is aiming to develop a hull design for a floating wave device while Dehlsen Associaties will develop new software for its Centipod wave device in order to predict future wave conditions and adjust system settings to maximize power output.
A further nine projects will gather and analyse environmental data from wave and tidal projects that will help to ensure potential environmental impacts are addressed proactively and that projects can be developed efficiently and responsibly. The Bureau of Ocean Management is provide $300,000 towards the funding of all these projects.