LOCE Wind and Wave Energy Weblog

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

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Promise of Ocean Energy


Dan White, organizer of the upcoming
Energy Ocean 2005 (where I'll be speaking) has this op-ed,

Ocean Energy: Putting It All In Perspective
in the April 18, 2005 edition of the Renewable Energy Insider. White argues that national security is impossible without energy security and wonders why the government isn't making more of an effort to tap ocean energy potential these days:

As I continue to explore the use of ocean power technologies, I find it amazing that no matter where we go along the coasts of the continental U.S. and Hawaii, just about every area is suitable for at least one type of ocean energy technology.
There is no one choice-wind, wave, current, tide, OTEC, etc. Each technology will need to be used to meet the U.S. energy needs. There is no one location. All areas will have to be exploited.

Now my least favorite... "Is renewable ocean energy a national priority?" Sadly no. But it once was!

From about 1977 to 1983, there was a movement towards harvesting Ocean Energy that is unmatched today. In 1980 and 1981 the U.S. Department of Energy's appropriation for Ocean Energy Systems alone was over $30 million, but the money disappeared over time as budget cuts forced its eventual demise, and the demise of the agencies responsible for overseeing the technology.

Ocean Energy's time is here. The government, and yes, even the oil & gas companies must take the lead in moving the technologies forward, not favoring any one renewable energy type over another. Remember the train companies - if they had realized they were in the transportation business they would probably be flying jets. Trick question-What business are the oil & gas companies in? Maybe the numbers I used in this article are arguable, and I can imagine that some will want to argue. But that's not the point. No one has yet to show me that Ocean Energy is unfeasible. Energy independence is just around the corner...or should I say "just offshore".

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