Ocean Renewable Energy Conference returns to Oregon Coast

View Original Source at The News Guard

June 10th, 2013

The future of clean, renewable ocean wave energy will be discussed in depth at the Ocean Renewable Energy Conference, to be held at the Liberty Theater in Astoria September 25-26.

This is the eighth annual ocean energy conference presented by the Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET), which has been held in Coos Bay, Seaside and Portland in previous years.

“It was important to take the OWET conference back to the coast this year. With the completion of the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan (TSP) in early 2013 and selection by NNMREC of Newport as home of the new Pacific Marine Energy Center in-water, grid-connected South Energy Test Site (SETS), community and industry collaboration is the key to responsibly developing this new source of clean, renewable energy,” said Dr. Belinda Batten, conference chair, OWET board member and Director of Oregon State University’s Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC). “From our own experience working with coastal communities to site SETS, we know that collaboration is critically important. Cooperatively, industry and community can be innovative in how they approach project development and benefit from economic and environmental opportunities.”

Officials with Oregon Wave Energy Trust said the Oregon coast is one of the most promising sites for the generation of wave energy in all of North America. The combination of high-energy waves, high demand for new renewable energy, capable seaports, an established marine and fabrication industry base, available power grid connections near the coast, and a culture of interest in green innovation and environmental issues make the state a prime spot for the development of wave energy, according to a press release issued by Oregon Wave Energy Trust.

State of Oregon officials has made the development of wave energy a priority and the Oregon Innovation Council has designated $10 million to date to support the responsible development of this emerging industry. Oregon Wave Energy Trust said Oregon’s return on investment will result in clean energy and new high wage jobs.

Part of that funding established the OWET, a private, not-for-profit organization that is an integral part of the state’s overall effort to be the leading authority of renewable wave energy.

“The Ocean Renewable Energy Conference is a chance for community members and wave energy leaders to collaborate on how we develop this new industry,” said Jason Busch, OWET executive director. “Since we were formed, OWET has been working to bring together Oregon’s diverse communities of interest around the oceans and the coastline. This conference is an opportunity to broaden discussions, increase involvement and inform future activities directed by OWET.”

Busch said the conference’s speakers and sessions will demystify how wave energy projects are established and discuss issues relevant to various stakeholders. Information about the benefits of wave energy—including the creation of jobs and economic development—will also be on the agenda. Guest speakers at the conference will include representatives from coastal communities, industry, environmental organizations and state and federal governments.

In the spirit of encouraging community and industry engagement, and with the support of our conference planning partners, OWET has rolled back registration fees this year to match rates for the 2009 conference held in Seaside.

Organizers hope that the lower registration fees will enable broad participation by coastal residents, industry representatives and other stakeholders.