Friday, June 25, 2010

Hydrokinetic Recreation Guide - Review and Comment

The Department of Energy, National Park Service, and Hydropower Reform Coalition invite you to review Hydrokinetic Energy Projects & Recreation: A Guide to Assessing Impacts, a report about evaluating impacts of new hydropower technologies (i.e. tidal, in-river current, and wave) on recreation. They are soliciting comments from many stakeholders, including recreation users, developers, and regulators. Comments should focus on substantive issues and other suggestions that will improve the usefulness of the Guide.

Comments should be submitted to by August 31, 2010.

More information and links to the draft document sections can be found here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Solana Beach Firm Developing Wave Generator for University

American Wave Machines Inc. in Solana Beach, California is developing a wave generator for the Ocean Energy Research Lab at the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) for the ultimate purpose of making ocean waves a renewable energy source.

Unlike wave generators for the amusement industry, The wave generator for the university will be the central component of a large wave tank system. It will be capable of generating waves with controllable wave heights and frequencies in a tank measuring fifteen meters long, one meter wide, and one meter deep. Upon completion, the wave tank will become a primary facility for ocean energy research at UTB.

Researchers at the university said that, although ocean waves hold enormous energy, that energy is under-utilized because there’s no reliable and cost-effective way of harnessing it. The Ocean Energy Research Lab is currently pursuing a novel technology to enable a corrosion-free, maintenance-free and hurricane-proof wave energy converter. The AWM wave generator will be used to simulate a typical ocean environment in the lab for testing bench-scale prototype wave energy converters.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Salazar Signs Agreement with 10 East Coast Governors to Establish Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and the governors of 10 East Coast states signed a Memorandum of Understanding on June 8 that formally establishes an Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium to promote the efficient, orderly, and responsible development of wind resources on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Salazar announced the agreement at Capitol Hill Oceans Week 2010, where he also announced the establishment of a new regional renewable energy office to coordinate and appropriately expedite the development of wind, solar and other renewable energy resources on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.

Several wind energy projects for the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf have been proposed for East Coast states, positioning the region to tap into the enormous potential of wind power in the U.S. Developing this resource could create thousands of manufacturing, construction and operations jobs and displace older, inefficient fossil-fueled generating plants, helping significantly to combat climate change.

“Renewable energy resources hold great economic promise,” Salazar said. “By one estimate, if our nation fully pursues its potential for wind energy on land and offshore, wind can generate as much as 20 percent of our electricity by 2030 and create a quarter-million jobs in the process.”


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Interest in Wave Energy Increasing

Although we're still years away from getting a significant amount of clean, renewable energy from waves, a recent article Wave Power Could Reduce Dependency on Oil that appeared in U.S. News and World report is an indication that there is increasing interest in wave and tidal energy.

Specifics and success stories are still hard to find. The article mentions several competing technologies and projects in Europe, including the Pelamis project in Portugal that was apparently abandoned in 2009, Aquamarine Power's Oyster, which is currently being tested in the waters off Scotland, and Checkmate Seaenergy's Anaconda, which has yet to be tested in the real world.

Commercialization may be closer in the U.S. In California, PG & E is planning to test up to four different technologies with its Wave Connect project in Humboldt County and is evaluating the potential for tidal energy in San Francisco Bay.

But Reedsport, Oregon may be the site of of the first commercial wave energy project on the West Coast. Surfrider Foundation is an active stakeholder in this project, which would be developed by Ocean Power Technologies.