PDF _ RS22721 - Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?
29-Apr-2008; Nic Lane; 6 p.

Update: Previous releases:
March 24, 2008
October 5, 2007

Abstract: Developments in wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technologies — also referred to as hydrokinetic or marine energy — are beginning to gain momentum. At the same time, their regulatory status is still evolving, as shown by recent changes in law aimed at clarifying the federal role in ocean wave and renewable energy. Two federal agencies currently appear to have a lead role in offshore renewable energy projects.

The Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) indicates that the Energy Policy Act of 2005, § 388, gave it authority as the lead agency for projects proposed on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). MMS is developing a regulatory framework and is not accepting applications for hydrokinetic (and other alternative energy) projects until its rulemaking process is complete.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued preliminary permits and accepted license applications for hydrokinetic projects on the OCS and in the near-shore ocean environment. Also, FERC is developing a licensing process specific to hydrokinetic projects. The issue of which agency has final regulatory authority over hydrokinetic projects that are partially or completely on the OCS is unresolved and may affect project development in this burgeoning industry.

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Topics: Energy, Federal Agencies, Legislative

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