Hydrokinetic technologies produce renewable electricity by harnessing the kinetic energy of a body of water, the energy that results from its motion. Since water is 832 times denser than air, our tides, waves, ocean currents, and free-flowing rivers represent an untapped, powerful, highly-concentrated and clean energy resource.
Estimates suggest that the amount of energy that could feasibly be captured from U.S. waves, tides and river currents is enough to power over 67 million homes. Based on current project proposals, experts predict that the country could be producing 13,000 MW of power from hydrokinetic energy by 2025. This level of development is equivalent to displacing 22 new dirty coal-fired power plants avoiding the annual emission of nearly 86 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, as well as other harmful pollutants like mercury and particulate matter. The avoided carbon emissions in 2025 would be equivalent to taking 15.6 million cars off the road.
Last year, the Minerals Revenue Management department of the Mineral Management Service reported $9.9 billion in royalties from all mineral exploitation. Of that, MRM collected $5.8 billion for all federal offshore drilling of oil and gas.
Lets ask President Obama to begin using some of our billions of dollars worth of off shore oil royalties to stimulate this growing industry.
"We the undersigned" have seen plenty of bad news images relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We want to state here that the Gulf of Mexico is not, as some believe, an industrial wasteland, valuable primarily as a source of petrochemicals and a few species of ocean wildlife that humans exploit for food, commodities, and recreational fishing. These are assets worth protecting as if our lives depend on them, because in no small measure, they do.
Ironically, fossil fuels have powered civilization to new heights of understanding, including the awareness that the future of humankind depends on swiftly shifting to energy alternatives that do not generate carbon dioxide and otherwise cause planet-threatening problems!
Having said this we would like to ask you to consider steps to revise the Mineral Revenue Management department of the Mineral Management Service's budget so that it would include a sizable yearly stimulus package for the devolpement of hydrokinetic energy concerns.
Despite the promise of hydrokinetic technologies to contribute significantly to our clean energy mix, there are barriers to the speedy development and delivery of this technology. Most pressing of these barriers are the current regulatory structure, and a need for additional financing to support environmental research and project deployment.
We feel this would be an excellent way for the old technologies which ultimately must be replaced, to help finance the new without placing an added burden on the these industries.
The economic impact in the Gulf Coast region alone over the next decade would be tremendous as this technology is developed and implemented, creating maritime jobs, as well as engineering, construction, maintenance, and business needs.
Thank you for the time you've taken to read our letter. We sincerely hope that something said here will influence a favorable response from you. Help bring this new technology into everyday use and help ease our depenence upon fossil fuels.