House and Senate Appropriations Committees Pass FY 2013 Energy and Water Development Funding Bills
Washington, D.C. – Last week, the Appropriations Committees in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives approved their respective Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bills. The Senate funding measure includes $59 million for the Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Water Power program, while the House bill allots $45 million for the program.
The funding levels provided for the DOE Water Power program by both Appropriations Committees mark a significant increase above the President's budget request submitted earlier this year. The Senate measure is
$39 million above the President's request and provides $44 million for Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) renewable energy research and development activities and $15 million for related work on conventional hydropower. The House allocation of $45 million marks a $25 million increase above the request with language designating
$25 million for MHK and $20 million for conventional hydropower.
"OREC is pleased that both Appropriations Committees have favorably reported their individual Energy and Water bills to the Senate and House for further action with increased funding for MHK research and development activities,” stated Sean O'Neill, OREC's President. "OREC commends the work of our Congressional champions, along with their staff, for these additional resources.”
The Department of Energy recently released resource assessments which show that wave and tidal resources, combined with preliminary results from ongoing DOE assessments of ocean current, ocean thermal, and hydropower opportunities, can potentially provide 15 percent of our nation's electricity by 2030. OREC strongly supports this target and is thankful for the efforts by the DOE Water Power team to make it a reality. However, to accomplish this significant goal, the Federal Government will need to invest additional resources into efforts to improve the performance, lower the costs, and accelerate the deployment of innovative water power technologies.
"Historically, the Department of Energy has focused its research and development funding on driving down the cost of power from new sources of renewable energy,” stated O'Neill. "OREC is grateful that appropriators, along with other Members of Congress and their staff, see the wisdom of supporting new technologies as they advance up the technology readiness curve toward full commercialization,” continued O'Neill. "We look forward to working with Congress to encourage final passage of the FY13 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill with maximum support for the DOE Water Power program.”
OREC seeks to secure increased federal funding and establish policies that foster the development of marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy technologies and facilitate their commercial deployment in an effort to capture the rich energy potential of our marine renewable resources. Approval of the Energy and Water Development bills by the Senate and House Appropriations Committees is another positive step toward accomplishing that goal.
About the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition
OREC is the only national trade association exclusively dedicated to promoting marine and hydrokinetic energy technologies from clean, renewable ocean resources. Founded in 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 to secure increased federal funding and establish policies that foster the development of marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy technologies and facilitate their commercial deployment in an effort to capture the rich energy potential of our marine renewable resources. 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.