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Marine Energy Maritime Markets RFI, Funding Deadlines, Cong. Action

Unknown, Monday, May 21, 2018

Greetings from Washington, 

DOE - Maritime Markets RFI

The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a Request for Information (RFI). The Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) seeks information from the public on a draft report that details the current economic and technical landscapes for 12 maritime markets where applications may exist for marine energy technologies. The markets are: Ocean Observations; Unmanned Underwater Vehicles/Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Recharge; Data Centers; High Cost Utility Grids; Isolated Community Grids; Canal Power; Aquaculture; Algae; Desalination of Seawater; Seawater Mining; Shoreline Protection; and, Disaster Relief and Recovery. The WPTO is seeking feedback on the content of the draft report, input on the value of each market, and recommendations on next steps and future efforts to investigate these potential markets. The office seeks stakeholder feedback by 5:00 pm (ET) on June 26, 2018. Read more.      

It is critical that the marine energy industry provide feedback as this information will be used to guide future funding opportunities. By responding to the program RFI, it could allow decision makers to prioritize new funding opportunities for the technologies relevant to your organization.  Please review the draft report and submit information on how your technology can support the identified markets. We strongly urge each company hoping to partner with DOE in the future to respond to this RFI.

DOE - New Funding Opportunity

The WPTO announced up to $23 million in funding to support marine energy technology projects that aim to reduce capital costs and shorten deployment timelines. Funded research will further the development of technologies and result in cost reduction: by advancing early stage research and evaluation of next generation wave and tidal/current systems; supporting early stage design of power take-off and control systems; and developing tools and methodologies that capture recent advances in the scientific understanding of environmental impacts of marine renewable energy.

Fundamental scientific and engineering challenges of generating power from dynamic, low-velocity and high-density waves and currents-while surviving in corrosive ocean environments-are intensified by high costs and lengthy permitting processes. Innovative early-stage research provides scientific data to inform design considerations, as well as licensing and permitting decisions, which will help reduce capital costs and permitting timelines.  Concept papers need to be submitted by May 31st. More information about the funding opportunity can be found here.

Congressional Action

Good news. The House released their version of the FY19 Energy and Water Appropriations bill and included $59 million for Marine Energy R&D. This is the highest funding level we've ever received from the House and they included directive language supported by Marine Energy Council.  The Senate should mark-up its version in a couple weeks.  We'll keep you posted as the FY19 appropriations process moves forward.  

 "Water Power - Within available funds, the recommendation provides $59,000,000 for marine and hydrokinetic technology research, development, and deployment activities, including research into mitigation of marine ecosystem impacts of these technologies. The Committee directs the Department to continue development of the open-water wave energy test facility with previously provided funds. The Committee directs the Department to continue competitive solicitations to increase energy capture, reliability, and survivability at lower costs for a balanced portfolio of wave and current (ocean, river, tidal) energy conversion systems and components. The Committee expects the Department to continue to support collaborations between the previously designated Marine Renewable Energy Centers and the national laboratories, including personnel exchanges, to support research, development, and deployment of marine energy components and systems. In addition, the Department is directed to continue its coordination with the U.S. Navy on marine energy technology development for national security applications at the Wave Energy Test Site and other locations."

DOE Water Power Photo Contest

DOE is searching for the best photos of water power technologies with the just-announced Make a Splash Photo Contest.  You could win up to $2,000 for your best photo of hydropower, marine energy, or river current technologies. In addition to cash prizes, winning entries will be featured on the DOE Water Power Technologies Office website, exhibited at DOE headquarters, and displayed in other DOE materials. The contest closes Monday, July 16th.


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