The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced plans to fund research for marine energy studies. Marine energy includes wave, tidal and current types of renewable energy. The DOE will provide up to $23 million for research and evaluation of marine energy systems. The funding is designed to reduce capital costs and deployment time of marine energy systems. The primary focus of the studies includes:
• System Design – The development and evaluation phase of next-generation wave, tidal or current systems. Prototype systems will be evaluated with numerical simulations and scaled model testing.
• Power Take-Off Testing – The design, integration and testing of the power take-off (PTO) and control systems. Each project will test the PTO with an operational real-time control system at an approved laboratory.
• Environmental Analyses – The effective communication of the results of marine energy studies to state and federal agencies involved in marine energy regulatory process.
The objective of the DOE studies is to address fundamental scientific and engineering challenges of generating power from dynamic, low-velocity and high-density waves and currents. In my opinion, this is money well spent in an effort to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuel (coal, oil and natural gas).