US DOE Announces €22 Million for Cutting-Edge Wave Energy Research
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $25 million in funding to support increased research, development, and demonstration of technologies that harness wave power to create electricity. The funding supports eight projects that will make up the first round of open-water testing at the PacWave South test site off the Oregon coast. These awards will strengthen wave energy technologies to accelerate their commercial viability and deploy them at scale to help decarbonize the grid and reach President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Harnessing the unrelenting power of the ocean is a clean, innovative, and sustainable way to curtail carbon pollution — benefitting American businesses and families, especially coastal communities hit hardest by the impacts of climate change,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Diversifying and expanding our clean energy sources will usher in a new era of energy independence that makes the grid more resilient, curbs the climate crisis, and saves Americans money on their energy bills.”
Waves are created when wind blows over the surface of open water in the ocean, and this movement results in a substantial amount of natural energy. Wave energy converters, which capture and convert waves into carbon-free electricity, require testing in realistic conditions to be deployed at scale. Obstacles to testing in the open ocean include permitting challenges and a scarcity of available test sites. In 2016, DOE partnered with Oregon State University to build the PacWave South test facility, which will be the nation’s first accredited, grid-connected, pre-permitted, open-water wave energy test facility.
The selected projects are part of DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) “Advancing Wave Energy Technologies through Open Water Testing at PacWave” funding opportunity to support wave energy technologies through research, development, and eventual deployment.