What’s up with ocean energy?
My Clean Break column this week is more or less a snapshot of what’s going on with ocean-energy development in Canada, with particular emphasis on wave and tidal projects. While you don’t hear much about these renewable energy systems, at least relative to wind and solar projects, it’s a good bet that there will be rising interest in ocean energy projects over the coming years. There are dozens of projects underway in Canada and the United States, and a recent decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to streamline the process for getting pilot project licenses — that is, from five years to as little as six months — indicates that regulators are finally seeing the potential of this technology and want to reduce barriers to its implementation. Canada is the third-most active developer of ocean-energy technologies, and has the potential to use tidal and wave power to produce up to a quarter of its electricity. As some of these pilot projects get going, it will be interesting to see if ocean energy technologies jump on the same growth curve as we’ve seen for wind and solar — not just in Canada but around the globe. Some of the Canadian companies in this space include Finavera Renewables, Blue Energy Canada, Clean Current Power and New Energy Corp.