By removing and addressing energy constraints in the blue economy, we can strengthen existing—as well as create new—applications for sustainable economic development. Through its broad portfolio of projects, the Powering the Blue Economy (PBE) initiative aims to leverage the power of the ocean to:

  • Improve remote, coastal, and island communities’ access to resilient energy sources and clean water
  • Enable the development of renewable energy-powered systems to monitor, observe, and protect the oceans
  • Spark marine energy entrepreneurship and engage an emerging, diverse workforce to achieve ambitious renewable energy goals
  • Serve as a complementary technology to boost the viability of other renewable energy technologies and hybrid systems
  • Harness energy from the ocean to power emerging applications such as sustainable aquaculture and seawater mineral mining
  • Encourage the advancement of technologies to support decarbonizing the maritime sector.

Marine energy resources, including ocean waves, tides, currents, and salinity and temperature gradients, are particularly well suited to address these power constraints in the blue economy because they are renewable, geographically co-located, and complementary to other energy sources.

During the last decade, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) has made progress in R&D focused on marine energy technology development as well as in understanding how these resources could serve grid-scale electricity needs. But to better understand the opportunities specific to marine energy’s role in the blue economy, WPTO, with support from the national laboratories, is investigating the potential opportunities for integration of marine energy into blue economy sectors.

More about the Initiative

Goals of the Initiative
WPTO formally launched the Powering the Blue Economy (PBE) initiative in 2019, following a two-year study of the potential applications for marine energy technologies beyond the grid.
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Successes & Impacts
The PBE initiative has engaged a large community of stakeholders around a common goal. Learn about some of the critical impacts WPTO has already seen since the launch of the initiative.
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Advantages of Marine Energy
The U.S. power sector is rapidly evolving to include new and diverse forms of energy. Marine energy technologies hold promise as part of the national energy mix and as an enabler of blue economy expansion.
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