Illustration/Eco Wave Power's wave energy plant in Gibraltar (Courtesy of Eco Wave Power)

California’s wave and tidal legislation moves forward

The California Senate Bill 605 for wave and tidal energy, introduced by senator Steve Padilla of Chula Vista, has passed two US government committees and has now moved to the Senate Appropriations Committee for further consideration.

Illustration/Eco Wave Power's wave energy plant in Gibraltar (Courtesy of Eco Wave Power)
Illustration/Eco Wave Power's wave energy plant in Gibraltar (Courtesy of Eco Wave Power)
Illustration/Eco Wave Power’s wave energy plant in Gibraltar (Courtesy of Eco Wave Power)

The SB 605 bill passed both the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and the Natural Resources and Water Committee in the past two weeks unanimously, with 15-0 and 10-0 votes, respectively.

The bill, which seeks to create a framework for the development of wave energy in California and to establish a regulatory pathway for the construction and operation of wave energy projects in state waters, has now headed to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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The legislation would also require California’s Energy Commission to develop a strategic plan for the deployment of wave and tidal technologies, infrastructure, and facilities. Further, it also notes that ocean energy represents the ‘third largest source of renewable energy and the largest source of underutilized renewable energy’.

Inna Braverman, founder and CEO of Eco Wave Power – a French-Israeli wave energy company which sees the United States as one of its markets of interest – submitted written testimony in support of the bill.

“Over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, so it is no wonder we look to the ocean in our search for solutions to some of the world’s most daunting challenges, such as climate change,” said Braverman in her testimony. “According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in California, the energy potential from the ocean is 140 TWh/year, which is the equivalent to the power needs of 13 million homes or 69% of California’s 2019 net electricity generation.”

SB 605 recognizes the vast potential and benefits that wave energy provides, saying that if developed and deployed at scale, wave and tidal energy can provide both economic and environmental benefits to the state and the nation.

The bill has received support from a broad coalition of businesses, environmental organizations, and economic development groups, who realize the potential of wave energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, and stimulate economic growth in coastal communities.

SB 605 is a critical step towards unlocking the full potential of the emerging blue economy industry and establishing California as a leader in the development of clean, renewable energy, according to Eco Wave Power.

“Wave energy implementation in California will not only have a positive impact on the wellbeing of local communities, in terms of health, but will also create significant employment opportunities. It is expected that ocean energy will create job opportunities in manufacturing, transportation, construction, and engineering,” Braverman concluded.

Joining Braverman in testifying to the committees in support of the historic legislation was former CalEPA Secretary and current AltaSea’s president and CEO Terry Tamminen.

“We need to continue to innovate the policies, technologies, and financing of new clean, renewable energy sources for our state if we hope to achieve our ambitious goals for clean air and a climate-resilient economy,” said Tamminen in his testimony. “This important measure would set California on the path towards becoming a global leader in ocean energy and developing this untapped source of clean, resilient, abundant, and renewable energy.”

Last year, Eco Wave Power entered into an agreement with AltaSea to implement a first of its kind wave energy pilot at AltaSea’s premises at the Port of Los Angeles. In just over a year, Eco Wave Power successfully modified, upgraded, and transported the conversion unit to Los Angeles.

In January 2023, Eco Wave Power unveiled what is believed to be the first-ever onshore wave energy unit in the United States, at AltaSea’s campus at the Port of Los Angeles.

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