U.S. Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap Announced
Five MHK Roadmaps Emerge Globally in October 2011
All-Europe, Canada, U.S., and International join Scotland and Ireland in Mapping MHK Progress
Today, the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition (OREC) unveiled the first U.S. Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) Technology Roadmap. The roadmap describes the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the MHK industry and outlines a clear and logical path to its commercialization. Technologies that capture energy from free-flowing waves, tides and currents represent the potential to provide up to ten percent of U.S. electricity consumption and continue to make advances and gain popularity in coastal communities around the world.
Canada's Ocean Renewable Energy Group (OREG), the Canadian MHK trade group, announced the release of its own industry roadmap today at the OREG annual conference in Montreal, where the Honorable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, was on hand to receive the first printed copy.
Also announcing similar initiatives this Fall include:
The ORECCA Offshore Renewable Energy Roadmap (European Union);
The International Energy Agency's Ocean Energy Systems International Vision for Ocean Energy;
3rd phase SuperGen Marine Energy Research Consortium (United Kingdom); and,
The Chilean Energy Ministry and the British Embassy in Chile recently commissioned a marine energy strategy for Chile.
"The fact that Canada and the U.S. announced MHK roadmaps on the same date, along with the announcements of additional regional and international MHK roadmaps, underscores the competition and cooperation we're experiencing in this fast growing industry." said Sean O'Neill, OREC's President. "A clean energy future is in everyone's best interest. As North America enters the global competition, we are joining an international race based on common interests in energy security, job growth and economic development, environmental improvements and the reality of finite fossil fuel resources."
Chris Campbell, OREG's Executive Director, commented, "Canada's strategy is based on existing sales of river current generators, wave and current monitoring equipment worldwide, Alstom's development of a Canadian tidal technology to be the world's first 2 Megawatt system and the strategy we are seeing emerge around tidal opportunities in Nova Scotia."
Bob Thresher of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory facilitated the development of the U.S. Roadmap. "Countries in Europe produced similar roadmaps as long as ten years ago," he said. "The U.S. Roadmap is a critical step forward in the domestic commercialization of these technologies. Support from the U.S. Department of Energy and colleagues from overseas, including Henry Jeffrey of the University of Edinburgh who has had his hand in just about every Roadmap, worldwide, helped move this along." he added.
"I am delighted to have been involved in so many of these efforts," added University of Edinburgh's Dr. Henry Jeffrey. "International interest in coherent strategic planning shows how serious these efforts are. There is significant global recognition of the economic and environmental benefits this sector can deliver and the increased system reliability supported by a diverse supply portfolio."
John Huckerby, Chairman of Ocean Energy Systems, the international intergovernmental consortium welcomed the number of national and regional initiatives that complement the international vision just released by OES. "These initiatives highlight the growing recognition of this industry and its potential contributions to energy security, our environment, and our economies."
"Since 2008, the U.S. Government has invested more than $50 million in the MHK sector. This roadmap and continued federal support will help protect these investments and lead to energy independence, a cleaner environment and the potential to export clean energy technology and capture a piece of this global market estimated at over $600 billion (U.S.)," said O'Neill.
The U.S. MHK Roadmap spells out the steps necessary to achieve at least 15 Gigawatts of grid-connected MHK power by 2030 and create up to 36,000 jobs in the process. The Roadmap emphasizes the need for coordinated efforts, continued funding for research, development and deployment activities and support for an environmental study program that would help place vital data into the public domain.
The U.S. Roadmap and Executive Summary are available online: http://www.oceanrenewable.com/roadmap
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.