With more than 7,500 miles of coastline, including Hawaii and Alaska, the Pacific Coast of the United States holds enormous potential for the extraction of marine renewable energy. Strong and consistent offshore winds, powerful waves, and focused tidal flows will someday enable a vast industry producing clean renewable energy.
The region has capable ports along the length of its coastline as well as abundant capacity within the electrical grid. The proximity of manufacturing operations to the coastline and well-developed transportation systems make it optimal for early stage technology developers looking to test and develop in the same location. The West Coast’s renewable energy policies are strong and produce a climate which is friendly to clean technology and renewable energy.
Recent studies by the Electric Power Research Institute conclude that there is approximately 250 TW/hr of wave resources alone along the Pacific coast, not including wind or tidal. As compared to other renewable generation assets, ocean energy has the potential to be highly predictable, which enhances its value to the utility industry and its customers. The reliability of the ocean as an energy resource could reduce the costs associated with integrating the energy into the grid.