WASHINGTON, D.C. — Waves and tidal currents could generate up to one-third of America’s electricity usage per year, according to two reports released by the U.S. Department of Energy that assessed the potential for ocean power off the east and west coasts.
The reports, titled “Mapping and Assessment of the United States Ocean Wave Energy Resource” and “Assessment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States,” calculate the maximum kinetic energy available for future energy production.
The analyses show that wave, tidal and other water power resources could potentially account for 1,420 of the U.S.’s 4,000 TWh of electricity per year, according to the DOE.
The reports note that Alaska and Hawaii have particularly high potential for wave energy development, while parts of both coasts have strong currents that could be tapped to produce tidal energy.
DOE previously released a report titled “Assessment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States” that also maps theoretical available energy in the nation’s tidal streams.