The Wave of the Future: Tidal Energy

  • Thu Aug 10th, 2017 9:21am
  • News

The crash of breaking waves and the relentless motion of the tides speak to the powerful forces at work in the ocean — forces that could be used to produce electricity. What is the outlook for technologies that seek to generate power from or on the sea? Learn more about the future of this potential energy source at a Washington Sea Grant Marine Renewable Energy Seminar.

The seminar will be from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, at the UW Olympic Natural Resource Center, 1455 S. Forks Ave., Forks.

A panel of experts from the University of Washington Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) will discuss the ocean’s potential contribution to future energy needs at the Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks. This seminar will cover current marine renewable energy (MRE) technologies and what forces are likely to shape MRE development in the U.S., particularly off the Pacific Northwest coast. The panel will present the environmental, social and engineering challenges (and opportunities), as well as current research to understand and proactively address these issues.

This seminar offers community members the opportunity to learn from and ask questions of experts and hear different perspectives about the potential benefits of MRE development for coastal communities, and its compatibility with existing ocean uses. The evening will highlight some of the expertise that exists at the UW, and support informed public engagement in possible future decisions about MRE.

UW NNMREC director Brian Polagye will share why he thinks near-shore industrial-scale wave and wind energy development is unlikely to happen for decades, but how smaller-scale technologies could potentially help power coastal communities and support economic development in the near-term. Also presenting will be UW graduate students Hannah Ross, with an overview of the many ways energy can be harvested from wind, waves and currents, and Molly Grear, an expert on the potential impacts of MRE development to marine mammals.

The seminar is organized by Washington Sea Grant (WSG), based at the University of Washington’s College of the Environment and is presented by WSG in partnership with the UW Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, the North Pacific Coast Marine Resources Committee, with support from the Rosmond Forestry Education Fund, an endowment that honors the contributions of Fred Rosmond and his family to forestry and collegiate education for the Forks community.

For information about the seminar, contact Meg Chadsey, Washington Sea Grant, [email protected], 206-616-1538. Event flier and agenda are available on the WSG website: https://wsg.washington.edu/marine-renewable-energy/.

For more information about the ONRC, contact Frank Hanson at 374-4556 or [email protected]

Washington Sea Grant provides statewide research, outreach and education services addressing the challenges facing the ocean and coasts. The National Sea Grant College Program is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. www.wsg.washington.edu.

Join the conversation: @WASeaGrant and Facebook.com/WaSeaGrant.