President Obama is expected to sign into law this week the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 omnibus appropriations measure, which was passed by the House on Friday and the Senate on Saturday. The appropriations measure combines the nine remaining spending bills, including the Energy and Water bill, and has garnered large bipartisan support.
The bill provides $59 million for the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Water Power R&D Program, with $34 million specifically allocated for Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) technology research, development and demonstration and $25 million for conventional hydropower. Within the total funding amount, at least $10 million is to be used to build necessary infrastructure, including environmental performance monitoring, at National Marine Renewable Energy Centers.
"The Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition recognizes the tireless work and support of the House and Senate Appropriation Committees to fund MHK research and development at a level that will contribute to promising achievements toward commercialization over the next year,” stated Sean O’Neill, OREC’s President. "MHK technologies, which draw from our nation’s most abundant and reliable natural resource – ocean and current energy, will play a vital role in diversifying and securing our nation’s energy supply as we move into the future. We very much look forward to working with the Department of Energy, our member companies and universities to accelerate the technology development necessary to reach our goal of 15 Gigawatts of installed ocean MHK energy by 2030.”
The FY 2012 funding level for MHK represents a three-fold increase over FY 2011 levels for MHK technology R&D and related NMREC test center activities.
OREC seeks to secure increased federal funding for MHK technology commercialization efforts by our member companies. The imminent passage of the FY 12 omnibus appropriations bill is another positive step toward accomplishing that goal.
About the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition
The Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition (OREC) is the only national trade association exclusively dedicated to promoting marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy technologies from clean, renewable ocean resources. Founded in April of 2005, the Coalition has grown to over 60 members including technology developers, consultants, law firms, investor-owned utilities, publicly owned utilities, universities, and scientific and engineering firms. The coalition is working with industry leaders, academic scholars, and other interested NGO’s to encourage ocean renewable technologies and raise awareness of their vast potential to help secure an affordable, reliable, environmentally friendly energy future.
OREC seeks a legislative and regulatory regime in the U.S. that fosters the growth of ocean renewable technologies, their commercial development, and support in the race to capture the rich energy potential of our oceans. While other countries have already deployed viable, operating, power generating projects using the emission-free power of ocean waves, currents, and tidal forces, the U.S. is only beginning to acknowledge the importance of these technologies.