The bill now moves to the State Assembly for consideration.
The legislative initiative directs the California Energy Commission to work with the relevant California state agencies to study the feasibility and potential for wave and tidal energy development in California and sets deadlines to report its findings to the California Legislature and Governor.
"I'm extremely pleased that California is moving fast to implement this historic legislation that will bring wave energy to California," said Inna Braverman, Founder and CEO of Eco Wave Power. "Wave energy is the largest untapped source of clean energy, and its widespread implementation in California will have a large positive impact – both environmentally and economically, as it will create a steady stream of clean jobs through manufacturing, transportation, construction, engineering, and other areas."
Braverman also provided written testimony to both the Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and the Natural Resources and Water Committee in support of this bill. Both committees voted to approve the bill unanimously earlier this past spring.
The bill aims to put California on the path to developing a new source of clean, renewable energy that will help the state meet its carbon-free targets while bolstering its grid. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that wave and tidal energy has the technical feasibility to supply 30 percent of the United States' energy needs.
The NREL report also found that California's coast has the potential wave energy resources to power 13 million homes in California. If California is to reach its targets for clean energy, it needs to draw from every possible source of clean power, including wave energy, which is one of the most abundant sources of energy that has less variability than other forms of renewable energy like solar and wind.
SB 605 recognizes the vast potential and benefits that wave energy provides, stating that if developed and deployed at scale, wave and tidal energy can provide both economic and environmental benefits to the state and the United States. The bill has received support from a broad coalition of businesses, environmental organizations, and economic development groups, who realize the potential of wave energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, and stimulate economic growth in coastal communities. SB 605 is a critical step towards unlocking the full potential of the emerging blue economy industry and establishing California as a leader in the development of clean, renewable energy.
"Onshore and offshore wave and tidal energy should be developed in a manner that protects coastal and marine ecosystems," the bill declares. "The state should use its authority under state programs and policies to ensure the avoidance, minimization, and mitigation of significant adverse impacts and the monitoring and adaptive management for offshore wave and tidal energy projects and their associated infrastructure."
Former California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary and current AltaSea President and CEO Terry Tamminen also testified before the California Senate policy committees. AltaSea is the home of Eco Wave Power's first-ever US pilot station, which is believed to also be the first-ever onshore wave energy unit in the United States.
"We need to continue to innovate the policies for, technologies of, and financing of new clean, renewable energy sources for our state if we hope to achieve our ambitious goals for clean air and a climate-resilient economy," said Tamminen.
"This important measure would set California on the path towards becoming a global leader in ocean energy and developing this untapped source of clean, resilient, abundant, and renewable energy."