Marine energy resources are geographically diverse and can serve as a complement to existing energy sources and technologies. The energy contained within these resources, although variable, is consistent, renewable, and can be effectively developed in an environmentally responsible manner.

The oceans are among our most important resources and stewardship of them must guide our path forward. They provide a foundation for economic activity at local, national, and global scales—as a source of food, energy, and recreation, and as the superhighway for global trade. Our understanding of the oceans is improving, fueling investment in next-generation maritime or “blue” technologies, such as:

Yellow buoy floating in the ocean.

Modular energy-water systems that take advantage of abundant local marine energy resources could provide greater energy and water security for remote, coastal, and island communities. Credit: Northwest Energy Innovations

  • Autonomous vehicles to further ocean exploration
  • Offshore aquaculture
  • Battery and fuel cell technology for marine transportation
  • Desalination and water treatment to serve remote, coastal, and island communities
  • Offshore renewable energy and alternative fuels, such as biofuels derived from marine algae and hydrogen from seawater.

Given the tremendous value of the oceans, our ability to contribute to the blue economy in a sustainable manner carries important implications with a wide range of potential societal and environmental benefits.

Marine energy could meet the energy and water requirements of remote, coastal, and island communities, which often rely on expensive shipments of fuel and water to meet basic needs. Electricity and water are vulnerable to disruption during periods of bad weather or following natural disasters. Modular energy-water systems that take advantage of abundant local marine energy resources could provide greater energy and water security.

Marine Energy Glossary - From attenuators to point absorbers, learn about the basic marine energy technologies and terminologies.

U.S. Department of Energy Marine and Hydrokinetic Technology Development and Testing - How is DOE supporting this exciting area of renewable energy innovation? Learn about the programs and prizes helping to further marine energy advancements.

Marine Energy Basics - A 101 on how marine energy technologies convert the energy of waves, tides, and river and ocean currents into electricity.

Marine Energy STEM portal Part of an effort to inspire the best and brightest to pursue careers in the water power workforce, the portal offers a vast collection of open-source resources for both students and educators to explore the industry.

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