Assessing the Progress of Ocean Renewable Energy Technologies

The ocean represents one of the largest energy sources on the planet; yet, we still haven’t found reliable, cost-effective ways to harness that resource. The incredible amount of experimentation happening in the industry today will inevitably lead to technology breakthroughs. But when — if ever — will we see marine renewables play an important part of the energy mix?

In this podcast, we’ll look at the state of technological progress in the industry. There are hundreds of technologies and designs competing at this early stage in the game. We’ll try to determine when some of these devices will make it to the commercial scale.

We start off in Holland, where the housing developer Vestia is using the ocean to heat 3,000 homes on the North Sea. As we’ll find out, the project isn’t perfect, but it is providing heat to residents at a price cheaper than natural gas.

Then, Rob Cinq Mars of the engineering services firm Free Flow Energy will give us his take on the competition among early-stage technology companies and developers.

John Miller, director of the New England Marine Renewable Energy Center, talks about the need to systematically test new technologies, rather than rush them into the ocean and risk damaging the industry’s credibility.

Peter Asmus, author and independent researcher, describes some of the international market trends that are driving installation of ocean energy devices.

And finally, we’ll wrap up on the coast of Maine, where Ocean Renewable Power Company is testing its OCGen cross-flow turbine in the Bay of Fundy. ORPC President and CEO Chris Sauer talks about the challenge of testing devices in treacherous ocean waters.

Inside Renewable Energy is a weekly audio news program featuring stories and interviews on all the latest developments in the renewable energy industries.

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I am a reporter with ClimateProgress.org, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep in touch through twitter! My profile name is: Stphn_Lacey

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