Photo: Verdant Power’s tidal turbines ahead of installation in New York City (Courtesy of Verdant Power)

USA: Marine energy industry targets 1GW of deployments by 2035

With marine energy on the cusp of significant growth, the National Hydropower Association (NHA) has unveiled new industry deployment targets of 50MW by 2025, 500MW by 2030, and 1GW by 2035.

Illustration (Courtesy of NHA)
Illustration (Courtesy of NHA)

In a new report titled ‘Commercialization Strategy for Marine Energy’, the industry urges the U.S. federal government to accelerate commercialization of marine energy technologies (wave, tidal, ocean current, ocean thermal, and riverine).

The report calls for federal support to increase funding to advance research and testing, create innovative incentives to facilitate rapid development and deployment, and establish a clear and predictable regulatory framework for testing and demonstration projects.

Malcolm Woolf, NHA’s president and CEO, said: “Marine energy could be the missing link for meeting our nation’s clean energy goals and decarbonizing our electricity grid, which is why, as an industry, we are setting the bold and achievable deployment target of 1 GW by 2035.

“Today there are marine energy devices in the water that are proving the viability of the technology as a climate solution. A strong commitment from the federal government is needed to accelerate commercialization, as global competitors are benefiting from significantly higher government incentives dedicated towards research, innovation, and early commercial activities”.

The marine energy industry is releasing its commercialization report on the heels of the U.S. Department of Energy’s analysis, released in March, that identified the potential of marine energy resources in the U.S.

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Utilizing national and state level data, the report found that the total marine energy technical resource in the 50 states to be 2,300 TWh/yr or the equivalent to roughly 57% of 2019 U.S. electricity generation – enough to power 220 million U.S. homes.

“We believe that the marine energy industry is poised for gigawatt scale deployment in the United States. The surge in deployments of natural gas, wind and solar over the last decade happened after extensive federal support helped drive cost competitiveness.

“With a commitment from the federal government, marine energy can follow a similar trajectory, while also helping to make President Biden’s ambitious target of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 a reality”, Woolf concluded.