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Why This Matters: Ocean current energy can tap into the flow of ocean currents through underwater turbines and extract energy that is then convertible into usable power. Tapping into ocean energy production opens to the door to vast amounts of untouched electric potential. In the United States, around 123.3 million people – roughly 39 percent of the country’s total population – live near the coast. The US Department of Energy has even estimated the technical energy potential for generation from ocean currents in the Gulf Stream is 45 terawatt hours per year. That is equivalent to two or three of Florida’s nuclear plants. The capabilities of clean energy are present and ready to be taken advantage of, all that is needed is the drive to seize such opportunities, making OceanBased Perpetual Energy and SNMREC one of the first to make this brave and much-needed leap. Impacts on marine life have been studied in Europe and experts believe most animals would be able to either ignore or get out of the way of the blades with ease because they move very slowly.
Putting It into Perspective: Currently, fossil fuels still form the backbone of the US economy, as they generate around 70 percent of the nation’s electrical power and come with a considerably lower capital cost. While previously viewed as being more costly, the transition towards renewables has led to a steady decline in prices over the last decade.
These prices don’t even take into account the environmental costs associated with energy production, which when quantified would heavily tip the scales in favor of ocean energies and away from fossil fuels, due to their lack of pollution.
While natural gas and oil prices fluctuate (as seen over the years), ocean energy costs remain stable as their power resources are free.
President Trump trumpeted his trade deal with China, but so far it has been a bust, according to The Wall Street Journal — the Chinese have not purchased nearly the amount of energy (in terms of total dollars) as they promised — only $2B in oil and gas purchases against a commitment of $25B for this year.
A federal judge in Washington, DC ruled yesterday that the Dakota Access Pipeline must shut down and empty all its oil until the government completes an environmental review of the pipeline’s impacts, giving the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies downstream, a huge victory. Similarly, late in the day, the Supreme Court refused to overturn the order of a district judge that shut down construction of parts of the Keystone XL pipeline so it is also blocked for now.
Why It Matters: The Dakota and Keystone XL news is greatly tempered by the fact that numerous other pipeline projects can go ahead despite their inadequate permit unless they are individually challenged in court and blocked.
Yesterday, Dominion Energy and its partner, Duke Energy, announced they were ending a 600-mile natural gas project that would have cost at least $8 billion to complete. As the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote, Dominion and Duke canceled the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in the face of mounting regulatory uncertainty caused by a federal court […]
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