Saturday, January 21, 2012
Water Power Hold Huge Potential
Through the results of two nationwide resource assessments, the US Department of Energy has found that harnessing the power generated by waves and tidal currents could potentially provide 15% of the country’s electricity by 2030.
This new report is the most thorough analysis undertaken to date to determine the viability of America’s ocean energy. The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency believes that water power, which includes conventional hydropower and wave, tidal, and other water power resources, can further contribute to the country’s efforts to diversify its renewable energy portfolio.
Equally important is the potential for new industries and new jobs to emerge as a result of the reports’ positive findings.
Not surprisingly, the reports highlighted the West Coast including Alaska and Hawaii as the area with the highest potential for wave energy development, although the East Coast showed promise as well. Both coasts showed strong tidal energy production potential.
While the DOE estimates that wave and tidal energy could conceivably generate a third of the 4,000 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity the United States consumes each year, not all of the resources can be realistically developed.
But the assessment did find that the country’s renewable hydropower resources can be expanded. Currently, 6% of the United State’s electricity comes from hydropower.