U.S. plans Internet session on marine, hydrokinetic projects

The Department of Energy plans to conduct an Internet web seminar Nov. 25 on the draft of a report to Congress looking at the environmental effects of marine and hydrokinetic energy projects.

The �webinar� is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EST Nov. 25. Information on viewing the draft and participating in the webinar are on the Internet at www.ornl.gov/sci/eere/eisareport. DOE is coordinating the webinar with the release this month of the draft for public comment. Staff members who prepared the report are to summarize their findings and answer questions online. The webinar will be archived and posted at the same site for later viewing.

DOE is developing the report with the Commerce Department, through the undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and with the Interior Department. A DOE team discussed the upcoming report at a meeting during the HydroVision 2008 conference in July. (HNN 7/9/08)

Section 633(b) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 calls for DOE to prepare a report to Congress to address the effects of marine and hydrokinetic energy projects. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a laboratory managed for DOE, is preparing both the draft and final report.

The final report is due to Congress by June 2009. The document is to describe: the potential environmental effects of marine and hydrokinetic energy technologies; options to prevent adverse environmental effects; the role of monitoring and adaptive management; and the necessary components of an adaptive management program.

For purposes of the report, the term �marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy� refers to electrical energy generated by: waves, tides, and currents in oceans, estuaries, and tidal areas; free flowing water in rivers, lakes, and streams; free flowing water in man-made channels; and ocean thermal energy conversion. The report will not include energy from any source that uses a dam, diversionary structure, or impoundment for purposes of generating electricity.

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