FY19 budget could raise federal marine energy funding to $59 million

A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations could provide $59 million for marine and hydrokinetic technology research, development and deployment, should the legislation meet the approval of the Senate in coming weeks.

The Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, marked up by the House Appropriations Committee this week, directs the Department of Energy to continue development of an open-water test facility while also maintaining “competitive solicitations to increase energy capture, reliability and survivability at lower costs for a balanced portfolio of wave and current energy conversion systems and components.”

Committee analysis stipulates DOE is also to support collaborations between America’s marine renewable energy centers, national laboratories and U.S. Navy.

“This comprehensive approach is more likely to result in realization of technological advancements needed to enable full use of our nation’s abundant energy resources,” said committee chair Michael Simpson, R-Idaho.

The amount included in the bill would represent the highest level of funding for MHK research ever allotted by the House, should it ultimately pass Congress.

The bill would also increase funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by $451 million from the level enacted in FY 2018, bringing its total funding to $7.28 billion. The House committee said the money will “provide a much-needed influx of funds into the nation’s water resources infrastructure.”

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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