The US Energy Department has announced $10 million to strengthen the U.S. marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy industry, including wave and tidal energy sources. Through the two funding opportunities announced the department is supporting design, manufacturing, demonstration, and testing of sustainable, environmentally responsible marine and hydrokinetic energy devices and components.
The Energy Department will make $6.5 million available to develop a new competition that challenges individuals, universities, and existing and emerging companies to improve the performance and lower the cost of energy produced by wave energy conservation (WEC) devices. Once launched, the competition will help attract ideas across this emerging industry to demonstrate innovative technologies that produce energy from ocean waves. The funding opportunity announced today seeks an organization to develop and administer the WEC Prize.
The Energy Department will also make $3.5 million available for the development and testing of MHK sensors, instruments, and processing techniques. These funds will support the development of new instruments to measure the environmental impacts of MHK technologies, test and integrate environmental monitoring instrumentation packages, and develop and test sensors and instruments to collect data on the characteristics of waves, including their height, period, direction, and steepness. The data will allow WECs to more accurately assess approaching waves and more efficiently harness their energy.