DOE Announces Up to $7.5 Million in Advanced Technology Research to Harness Energy Potential of Oceans, Tides and Rivers

WASHINGTON, DC May 05, 2008 – As part of the Bush Administration’s ongoing commitment to invest in clean energy technologies to meet growing energy demand while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $7.5 million in federal funding for research and development to help advance the viability and cost-competitiveness of advanced water power systems.  Through this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), DOE seeks partnerships with U.S. industry and universities to develop innovative and effective technologies capable of harnessing water power energy resources, including ocean wave, tidal, current and other water-based resources.

“Water covers more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. Using environmentally responsible technologies, we have a tremendous opportunity to harness energy produced from ocean waves, tides or ocean currents, free flowing water in rivers, and other water resources to advance the Administration’s comprehensive energy strategy and provide clean and reliable power in the United States,” Andy Karsner, DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, said.  “The U.S. Department of Energy is aggressively pursuing the development of next-generation technologies that are capable of increasing the use of clean, renewable energy to further our energy security and help meet the President’s goal to stop greenhouse gas emissions growth by 2025.”

Through public-private partnerships, the FOA seeks to advance water research and development projects in support of water power technology.  DOE plans to award industry-led partnerships to research, develop and/or field test advanced water power technologies to further the President’s Advanced Energy Initiative, which dramatically increases clean-energy research funding to develop cleaner, lower cost, and more reliable alternative energy sources. Successful applicants will be required to develop collaborative project teams involving at least one other industry, university or national laboratory partner and a minimum 50 percent non-federal cost share is required.

The FOA provides industry-led partnerships with the opportunity to conduct research on engineering standards and codes, utility grid interconnection issues associated with water technologies, technical sitting requirements, and wave and tidal resources assessments.

DOE also plans to award grants to university-led groups to conduct advanced research on marine renewable energy.  These groups will serve as an information clearinghouse for the marine renewable energy industry, collecting and disseminating information on best practices research.  Research will include technology testing, experimental and numerical modeling, wave forecasting, environmental impacts, and corrosion-resistant materials research.

Completed applications for this FOA are due June 16, 2008.  All grant applications will be merit reviewed and competitively awarded.  DOE anticipates selecting up to 17 awards, and projects are expected to begin in Fiscal Year 2008.  The continuation of projects beyond FY 2008 is subject to Congressional appropriations.

In working to develop technologies that harness the power of our water resources, DOE is furthering the President’s Advanced Energy Initiative, which aims to dramatically increase clean energy research investments to develop cleaner, lower cost, and more reliable alternative energy sources.  The Energy Independence and Security Act signed by President Bush in December 2007, authorizes DOE to establish a program of research, development, demonstration, and commercial application to expand marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy production.

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