The State of Renewable Ocean Energy

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In order to streamline the permit and leasing process, the OETF suggests a “one-stop-shop” approach in both federal and state waters.  For Maine, this would mean that the DEP would take charge of all ocean renewable energy projects.  Instead coordinating with several agencies in order to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, etc., an ocean energy company would deal directly with DEP.  A successful model exists for this “one-stop-shop” approach in the Danish offshore wind industry, and Denmark produces 35% of 2 GW of global production (OCD 2010).  In US legislation, the 1980 Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Act (OTECA) tasks the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (N{_}OAANOAA) with the licensing for construction and operation of commercial Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plants (_HNMREC 2010).  While OTEC has not been established in the US, the structure allows for “the majority, if not all federal, state, and local requirements [to be] handled through the NOAA licensing process” (HNMREC 2010).


  1. The LePage Administration should acknowledge the findings and recommendations of the Baldacci Administration’s Ocean Energy Task Force and pave the way for a favorable climate for continued research and development
  2. Investment and development
    1. Focus on the offshore wind industry due to the state’s substantial wind energy resource
    2. Tidal energy should receive equal support in those specialized sites appropriate for its application such as the Bay of Fundy 
    3. Wave energy should receive limited funding
  3. Research for wave energy should include the study of co-location with offshore wind turbines as well as hybrid wind-wave systems
  4. Create a “one stop shop” for permitting applications
  5. Continue to research environmental impacts specific to Maine

Works Cited

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