The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have issued a new report titled, Marine Energy in the United States: An Overview of Opportunities, that identifies the potential of marine energy resources (wave, tidal, ocean current, ocean thermal, and riverine marine). Using the national and state level data, the report finds the total marine energy technical resource in the 50 states to be 2,300 TWh per year or the equivalent to roughly 57 per cent of electricity generated in the US in 2019 – enough to power 220 million homes in the county.
“The new report demonstrates that marine energy technologies could be the missing link for meeting our nation’s clean energy goals and decarbonising our electricity grid,” said Malcolm Woolf, NHA President and CEO. “Much like the development of solar energy, with each passing day, marine energy moves one step closer to full scale commercialisation. We believe that the marine energy industry is poised for GW-scale deployment in the US in the coming decade. President Biden and Congress have proposed an ambitious target of achieving 100 per cent clean electricity by 2035, and tapping into just a fraction of marine energy’s potential could help make that a reality.”
In the report, NREL identified specific areas within the US where marine energy devices could be deployed and its potential contribution for generation. For example,
• On the West Coast, wave energy would be the dominant source, where there is a potential for 250 TWh per year, which is equivalent to 67 per cent of the region’s net electricity generation in 2019, enough to power 23 million homes.
• On the East Coast, ocean thermal would be the dominant source, where there is a potential 460 TWh per year, which is equivalent to 49 per cent of the region’s net electricity generation in 2019 – enough to power 43 million homes.