Dear friends and colleagues,
On behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO), I am delighted to present our 2019–2020 Accomplishments Report. In this report, we summarize some of the significant results from WPTO-supported research across the Hydropower and Marine Energy (formerly the Marine and Hydrokinetics) programs. While not intended to be a comprehensive overview of all the impactful projects within WPTO’s portfolio, this report highlights some of the achievements from the past 2 years. These accomplishments include successful laboratory and in-water tests of promising technologies, commercialization of environmental monitoring instrumentation, the release of new modeling code and decision-support tools, and efforts to improve open access to data. Many of these projects were supported through our traditional funding opportunity announcements, as well as by leveraging a variety of support mechanisms such as prizes, competitions, and notices of technical assistance.
I would also like to sincerely thank all our awardees, partners, and staff who contribute so much time and energy to making the important work we support possible. It is their efforts, taking place in laboratories, rivers, and oceans across dozens of states, that drive important scientific advances in hydropower and marine renewable energy technologies. And it is this work that will prepare the U.S. hydropower fleet to be a keystone of our renewable energy future and allow the sea itself to become a source of low-cost, renewable energy that ocean industries and coastal communities increasingly depend on.
Additionally, I want to express my appreciation for all the valuable feedback we receive from stakeholders and industry experts. One of our formal feedback mechanisms is our biannual Peer Review, a comprehensive and public evaluation of our program strategies and projects. We organized our most recent review in late 2019 and received valuable feedback on our work, including new areas where water power technologies can have significant impacts like leveraging hydropower’s full range of grid benefits and marine energy applications in the Blue Economy. We also receive helpful input regularly via requests for information (published via the Federal Register) and public workshops. We continually apply these insights to improve our work.
For this first compilation of accomplishments, we cover successes achieved in 2019 and 2020. In the “Looking Forward to 2021” section, we highlight a few projects we predict will have significant results in 2021. I hope readers enjoy learning about the different areas of our portfolio, and I encourage them to get in touch with associated project teams for more information—email addresses for project points of contact are listed within each write-up. For more general inquiries, readers can also email the WPTO inbox. This document is a testament to the hard work and devotion of our partners who lead these research and development projects; thank you all again.
Director, Water Power Technologies Office
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
U.S. Department of Energy