The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) today published a notice of intent to issue a $14.5 million funding opportunity to support marine energy research at U.S. institutions of higher education, including minority-serving institutions. WPTO expects to release this funding opportunity in fall 2023 in partnership with DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO).
Foundational research is critical to advancing novel and new technologies like marine energy and floating offshore wind.
Marine energy refers to power harnessed from waves, tides, ocean and river currents, and even from differences in ocean salt levels, temperatures, and pressure. These resources are abundant, geographically diverse, and complementary to other renewable energy sources. While marine energy is not yet widely deployed across the country, the total available marine energy resource in the United States is equivalent to approximately 57% of all U.S. power generation in 2019.
Floating offshore wind has 2.8 terawatts of potential power, which if fully developed would equate to more than double the current U.S. electricity consumption.
The proposed opportunity is expected to fund projects through four topic areas focused on:
Generating publicly available (open-source) data and information on cost reductions and performance improvements of marine energy devices for use by the industry and other stakeholders.
Assessing and advancing potential synergies between floating offshore wind and/or marine energy and aquaculture development and exploring promising pathways to maximize benefits. (This topic area is a joint effort between WPTO and WETO.)
Supporting undergraduate senior design and/or research projects in marine energy.
An open topic area where applicants can propose activities that address the needs of the marine energy industry not covered by other topic areas.
The full notice of intent is available on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Funding Opportunity Exchange.
Editor's note 10/18/2023: WPTO expects to release the Marine Energy University Foundational R&D funding opportunity in early CY2024, not late CY2023 as WPTO anticipated in the original notice of intent.