Marine & Hydrokinetic Maps
Hydropower already provides 6-7% of the nation's electricity, and the ocean represents a largely untapped renewable energy resource with potential to provide clean electricity to coastal communities and cities across the United States. There is significant opportunity for water power to provide large amounts of clean and renewable power. The Water Power Program is invested significantly in comprehensive analysis of ocean energy potential for future electricity production.
In early 2012, the Water Power Program released reports that assess the total technically recoverable energy available in the nation's waves, tidal streams, and non-powered dams. The program plans to release additional program-funded assessments of ocean current and ocean thermal resources in addition to conventional and hydrokinetic terrestrial hydropower resources in 2012. Preliminary results of these assessments show that water power resources, which include both marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy and hydropower, could deliver 15% of our nation's electricity supply by 2030.
Assessments of United States Water Power
Resource assessment is pivotal to understanding the ocean's potential for future electricity production.
Nonpowered Dams Assessment: An Assessment of Energy Potential at Non-Powered Dams in the United States
This report, created by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, assesses the existing non-powered dams across the nation to determine the ability for selected sites to generate electricity. Non-powered dams electric generation potential is estimated at 12.1 GW, a potential equivalent to increasing the size of today's hydropower fleet by 15%.
Wave Resource Assessment: Mapping and Assessment of the United States Ocean Wave Energy Resource
This report, created by the Electric Power Research Institute, assesses ocean wave energy potential along the U.S. coasts. Researchers at Virginia Tech and DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory supported the report and data validation. In total, electric generation from waves could amount to more than 1,170 TWh/year, which is almost one third of the 4,000 TWh of electricity used in the United States each year.
Tidal Streams Resource Assessment: Assessment of the Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States
This report, created by Georgia Tech, assesses the maximum theoretically available energy in the nation's tidal streams. Tidal electric generation potential is estimated to be approximately 250 TWh/yr, based on DOE analysis of the data contained in the final report.
Mapping and Visual Tools of United States Water Power
These online databases allow users to pan, zoom, and filter data of the ocean's energy potential.
Wave Energy Resource Atlas: Marine and Hydrokinetic Atlas
This atlas maps the wave energy resource, and will host other ocean energy data sets in the future.
Tidal Streams Resource Maps: Assessment of the Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States
This database provides researchers insight into the potential of the tidal ocean energy resource. Oak Ridge National Laboratory validated the model's accuracy and the resulting data can be viewed in this online resource mapping tool.
For more information on MHK resources, access the resource maps page on the U.S. DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Water Power Program site.
For Geographic Information System (GIS) MHK resource data, access the Data Resources page.
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