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Marine and hydrokinetic energy (MHK) technologies generate energy from waves, currents, and tides. According to the Ocean Energy Systems, the world oceans have the technical potential to produce 9,100,000 gigawatt hours annually. MHK is a huge, largely untapped energy resource with a predictable nature that can be used by power grid managers to offset more variable resources such as wind and solar power. On a regional scale, widespread MHK deployment would contribute to job growth in coastal communities, and provide a localized source of power in isolated coastal regions and areas susceptible to extreme events, such as hurricanes, flooding, and storm surge.

PNNL's longstanding partnerships with Pacific Northwest industries, agencies, and MHK developers allows us to collaborate, share insights, and ultimately spur the development of MHK technologies. Our Marine Sciences Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy's only coastal laboratory, provides researchers from around the world a place to test and improve their technologies.

  • Wave energy devices

    Finding Energy Opportunities in the Blue Economy

    What if you could directly harness ocean energy to bring power where it didn't exist before? In a first-of-its-kind assessment, researchers from PNNL, working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, have identified and assessed 12 markets that could benefit from marine energy.

  • PNNL Develops EyeSea, a Machine-Learning Tool to Automate Video Analysis of MHK Sites

    PNNL Develops EyeSea, a Machine-Learning Tool to Automate Video Analysis of MHK Sites

    A new tool, called EyeSea uses machine vision algorithms to "watch" underwater video footage and flag footage where a fish or mammal is near a marine energy turbine. If deployed, EyeSea could improve understanding of wildlife interactions and help safely deploy wave energy technologies.

  • Block Island Wind Farm is the U.S.'s first commercial offshore wind farm

    Wind and Wildlife Interactions: A World-Wide Solution Cannot Be "One Size Fits All"

    International group researches adaptive management to reduce wind energy and wildlife interactions. Adaptive management has the potential to reduce scientific uncertainty and improve policies and practices for future wind development. It may also advance the wind energy industry while simultaneously reducing environmental effects.

  • The Ultimate Wind Energy Research Assistant: WREN Hub

    The Ultimate Wind Energy Research Assistant: WREN Hub

    A PNNL-developed website called Tethys supports a growing community of researchers, regulators, and developers in the areas of wind and marine energy. Tethys added a resource called WREN Hub to provide users with an easily searchable database of white papers and scientific reports regarding how wind energy devices impact wildlife.

  • Samuel Harding and Marshall Richmond

    Marine Energy Paper Chosen from Among Sea of Candidates

    PNNL researchers Samuel Harding and Marshall Richmond's co-authored paper was selected to receive a 2015 Outstanding Paper Award from Measurement Science and Technology. The paper was downloaded more than 500 times in the first 90 days after publication.

  • International Collaboration Studies Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Devices

    International Collaboration Studies Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Devices

    State of Science Report summarizes interactions of marine renewable energy devices with the marine environment, the animals that live there, and the habitats that support them. The report research was a collaboration led by the United States with 13 different nations.

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