Deutch introduces legislation to boost energy generated from ocean

Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) introduced legislation Oct. 24 with Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Congressman Don Young (R-AK) to harness the energy generated by America’s oceans.

Florida’s 19th district is home to the Southeast Marine Renewable Energy Center, Florida Atlantic University’s nationally-renowned marine energy research institute.

The Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Promotion Act would boost research grants, loans, and tax incentives available for scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs working to develop and deploy ocean-generated energy for America’s consumers.

“The federal incentives put in place to speed America’s transition to green energy are in large part responsible for the fact that renewable industries have outpaced the rest of the private sector when it comes to job creation,” said Congressman Deutch. “If we are serious about ending our dependence on foreign oil and making clean, affordable, and renewable energy available to American consumers, then hydrokinetic and marine power must be part our strategy. This legislation will help the innovative technologies under development at places like Florida Atlantic University become commercially-viable sources of renewable energy for the American people.”

Susan Skemp, Executive Director of Florida Atlantic University’s Southeast Marine Renewable Energy Center, lauded the introduction of the legislation. “Florida Atlantic University’s Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) is at the forefront of marine renewable energy research and development,” she said. “SNMREC is assessing Florida’s resources for open-ocean current renewable energy and developing the capability, infrastructure, and strategic partnerships needed for testing hydrokinetic energy generation prototypes and related technologies in the Gulf Stream. Based on the research and testing at SNMREC, commercial-scale deployments of such systems have the potential of providing significant base-load power for Florida’s future.”

Sean O’Neill, President of the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition, the national trade association for marine and hydrokinetic energy technology, also commended the Congressmen for introducing the bill. “The leadership from Congressmen Inslee, Deutch and Young underscores their commitment to national security, jobs and their vision for a clean, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy future,” he said.

The Marine Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Promotion Act will make research into technologies that link ocean-generated power into our electricity grid eligible for federal aid, release publicly environmental impact data derived from federally-supported research, establish standards for testing and certifying these technologies, and create a grant program to help fund the costs of environmental impact studies needed before hydrokinetic demonstration projects can be installed. The bill authorizes $75 million in annual funding for ocean-generated energy for 2012-2014.

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