PDF _ RL33883 - Issues Affecting Tidal, Wave, and In-Stream Generation Projects
26-Nov-2008; Nic Lane; 24 p.

Update: Previous releases:
November 26, 2008
March 24, 2008
September 20, 2007
June 28, 2007
May 2, 2007

Abstract: The development technology that generates electricity from ocean waves, tides, and river currents is still in its infancy. However, Congress has provided some policy guidance on these energy sources through the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT; P.L. 109-58). The act addresses this area of energy innovation by clarifying federal jurisdiction over, and encouraging the development of, these alternative energy sources. Title II of the act contains provisions for assessment of and reports on renewable energy resources by the Department of Energy; production incentives for renewable energy production; benchmarks for renewable energy purchases by federal facilities; and grants supporting rural electrification with preference given to renewable energy facilities. EPACT §931 directs the Secretary of Energy to conduct research and development (R&D) programs for ocean energy, including wave energy and kinetic hydro generation projects, and §388 amends §8 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. §1337) to give authority to the Secretary of the Interior to grant leases on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for the production of energy from sources other than oil and natural gas.

Because the development and application of these technologies are in the pre-commercial stage, the regulatory requirements governing their implementation are not always clear. To some, there is uncertainty regarding which federal agency most appropriately has jurisdiction over these projects and the regulatory processes that are necessary to ensure resource protection and adequate oversight while encouraging the development of a promising new energy source.

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Topics: Energy, Science & Technology, Legislative

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