Annual Report 2016
Country Reports


Steven Bushong, Alison LaBonte and Ann Dallman U.S. Department of Energy

With more than 50 percent of the U.S. population living within 50 miles of coastlines, marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy technologies provide America an opportunity to develop an untapped domestic energy resource. The U.S. Department of Energy’s investments in MHK energy technology seek to advance an energy technology complementary to the nation’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, while also encouraging domestic manufacturing, job creation, and seaport revitalization.

U.S. MHK resource assessments identify a technical resource potential of up to 1,250 to 1,850 terawatt-hours (TWh) of generation per year. For context, approximately 90,000 homes can be powered by one TWh of electricity generation each year. A domestic MHK energy industry could provide reliable power to coastal regions, especially in areas with high electricity costs. In 2016, the American MHK sector made significant investments and efforts toward realizing commercial MHK energy technology, including the announcement of plans for a full-scale, grid-connected national wave energy test facility, the demonstration of a five-fold increase in wave energy capture potential with the culmination of the Wave Energy Prize, and numerous advances in technology maturity and reducing deployment barriers.