Our oceans are a crucial asset: a precious habitat to millions of species, a vital carbon sink, and a key determinant of environmental and human health. The oceans also provide an essential source of food and act as an enabler of global trade—an emerging idea called the blue economy. The World Bank defines the blue economy as “the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems.”

Society’s growing need for ocean-derived food, materials, energy, and knowledge is fueling growth in next-generation maritime or “blue” technologies. Industries such as ocean observation, for example, are moving further offshore to take advantage of and capture data across the vast scale of the ocean. This effort requires access to consistent, renewable power untethered to land-based power grids.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office Powering the Blue Economy™ initiative is a meaningful first step toward protecting, understanding, and leveraging the immense power and promise of the oceans to help us achieve our collective economic, social, and environmental goals. Collaboration and engagement are central to efforts supporting communities and marine life while sustainably providing power to the blue economy.

Download the Powering the Blue Economy brochure to learn more about energy innovation in the blue economy, energy resiliency for coastal and islanded communities, and the initiative’s overall progress.

The Powering the Blue Economy initiative seeks to understand the power requirements of emerging coastal and maritime markets and advance technologies that could integrate marine renewable energy to relieve these power constraints and enable sustainable growth of the blue economy.

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