International Standards

NREL and the U.S. Department of Energy are actively engaged in the development of international standards for marine energy.

NREL supports the development of internationally recognized standards under the auspices of the International Electrotechnical Commission Technical Committee 114 (IEC TC 114) "Marine Energy—Wave, Tidal, and Other Water Current Converters," which was established by the IEC in 2008.  In addition, NREL provides support to the IEC system for certification to standards relating to equipment for use in renewable energy applications (IECRE System).

The establishment of international standards will assist in mitigating the technical and financial risks associated with the diverse range of technology concepts that exist in the growing marine energy industry, enabling a quicker uptake of viable commercial systems.

Standardization will help accelerate the most promising marine energy technologies in achieving commercialization by providing a foundation for certification, promoting international trade of uniform high-quality products, and supporting the transfer of expertise from traditional energy systems.


NREL has over 35 years of experience working on energy standards and has served as an administrator to the IEC TC 114 U.S. Technical Advisory Group since its inception in 2008.

U.S. Department of Energy and NREL support enables qualified U.S. industry technical experts to populate the international standards development project teams and national shadow committees using an IEC standards development process approved by the American National Standards Institute.

The standards produced by TC 114 will address topics related to:

  • Technology and project development
  • Performance assessment of marine energy converters
  • Resource assessment
  • Design and safety, including reliability and survivability
  • Deployment
  • Commissioning
  • Operation
  • Maintenance
  • Retrieval and decommissioning
  • Electrical interface, including array integration and/or grid integration
  • Laboratory testing
  • Manufacturing and factory acceptance
  • Additional measurement methodologies and processes.

See the IEC TC114 brochure—which is intended to serve as a reference for TC 114 documents and contains summaries, status, and links to each—to learn about the standards for wave, tidal, and other water converters.

IECRE Marine Energy Operational Management Committee

The U.S. and NREL are very actively involved in the IECRE Marine Energy Operational Management Committee, which is creating a system for certification to IEC, the International Organization for Standardization, and other relevant international standards.

"To remain competitive in world trade, U.S. standards and engineering practices must be in line with international standards, or the United States will face competitive disadvantages."

— American National Standards Institute Guide for U.S. Delegates