LOCE Wind and Wave Energy Weblog

The web's first ocean and offshore wind energy weblog. Continuously renewed, like the ocean itself.

Friday, April 23, 2004

We're Back

As you can see, after a somewhat lengthy hiatus of three months, the Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant is back on track with our offshore web log. There's been lots of activity in these past few months on offshore renewables, both in our own practice and in the industry generally. So keep following our web log to keep abreast of new developments.

Ocean Commission Releases Preliminary Report - With Chapter on Offshore Renewables

For those who follow the development of offshore renewables, there's an important document just out that you don't want to miss: the chapter on offshore energy development contained in the Preliminary Report just issued by the Ocean Commission. The Ocean Commission is an executive body appointed by the president pursuant to the Oceans Act of 2000.

With respect to renewables, the Report provides a good overview of the current competing and disparate state of regulation for different offshore technologies. The report recommends creation of some type of comprehensive ocean management body which would, among other things, implement more coordinated and consistent regulation for offshore renewables to promote development. The report also endorses some type of fee system so that the federal government and adjacent states would receive a "fair return" from offshore renewables development.

The report solicits comments, with a deadline set for May 21, 2004. Absent from the report is how a new regime would affect existing offshore proposas like Cape Wind which is now under review by the Corps of Engineers or the AquaEnergy Group's proposed Makah Bay Wave Energy Project, now undergoing licensing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. These issues will likely be fleshed out in more detail in the comment process.

article reports on the Ocean Commission's report and in particular, the potential impacts on the Cape Wind project.

The Navy Invests in Ocean Technology

According to this article,
Navy Conserves the Nation's Resources With Innovative Environmental and Energy Efficiency Efforts
, Investors Daily (4/22/2004), the Navy is doing its share to promote renewables development, including ocean wave technologies. Recent Navy projects have included one by the Office of Naval Research, which implemented a Wave Energy Technology project in Kanehoe Bay, Hawaii. The Office of Naval Research contracted with New Jersey based Ocean Power Technologies to develop and deploy a wave energy converter system.

Another Wave Energy Company Goes Forward

This article,
Company wants to explore using the sea to generate electricity
(April 23, 2004) reports on a Minnesota company, Independent Natural Resources that seeks to use floating pumps in the ocean to push water through pipelines to a reservoir to power turbines for electric power production.
A test pump is being contemplated for the coast of Northern California and if successful, the company would then set up a small-scale flotilla of 16 pumps connected to a 750-kilowatt power production facility for testing over six to 12 months.

Turkey to Investigate and Invest in Offshore Renewables

Here's an article from, of all places, Al Jazeera that reports that
Turkey will invest in utilising wind energy
. (April 14, 2004).
As the article reports, having secured World Bank backing, Turkey has now decided to make a half billion dollar investment in wind and wave power:

With more than 8000km of coastline, and many of its coastal regions enjoying constant breezes, Turkey appears to be a natural candidate for renewable energy projects.

And Turkey has another incentive to invest in renewables as well: The European Union has set a target of 12 percent of member state's energy needs being met by alternative power sources by 2010 and wind and wave project can help Turkey comply with that goal.

Another Winergy Proposal

This brief blurb,
Wind Power for Delaware
, reports on offshore wind developer Winergy's plans to build windmills about three miles off the Delaware coast. According to the report, Winergy has commenced the pre-application process with a proposal for 300 wind turbines.