WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 23, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Climate Action Task Force, today reintroduced legislation that would encourage the research and development of renewable energy generated through waves, currents, ocean tides, and free-flowing water in lakes and rivers, known as marine and hydrokinetic power.
“Our natural resources can also be our greatest assets,” Senator King said. “By reauthorizing important research programs, we can take a positive step toward unlocking a clean energy future that helps put the breaks on climate change and keeps money in peoples’ pockets – a winning proposition for our environment and energy consumers alike.”
The Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Act reauthorizes the Department of Energy’s marine renewable energy programs and would encourage private investment in marine hydrokinetic power technologies.
In Maine, the legislation would help innovative enterprises like Oceans Renewable Power Company, which deployed the Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project, the first commercial, grid-connected tidal power system in the country and the first ocean energy project to be delivering power to the public grid anywhere in the U.S., as well as a first-of-its-kind off-grid tidal project in remote Alaska.
The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that waves, tides, and ocean currents off the nation’s coasts could contribute significantly to the United States’ total annual electricity production and power millions of homes each year. DOE is currently developing an aggressive strategy to support its vision of producing at least fifteen percent of our nation’s electricity from water power, including conventional hydropower by 2030.
The Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Act unanimously passed the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources last year. Authored by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the bill is also cosponsored by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).