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Wind and Waves: The Future of Ocean Energy


September 20, 2012


Berkeley, CA

California is today experiencing a "Gold Rush" in renewable energy. Many energy companies, attorneys, consultants and environmental organizations are working with federal, state and local governments to find ways to design and develop renewable energy projects that benefit the public while protecting the environment and natural resources. Berkeley Law Center for Law, Energy & the Environment, The Environmental Law Institute and Farella Braun + Martel held a series of bimonthly panel discussions to address the issues involved in renewable energy project development.

Session 9: Wind and Waves: The Future of Ocean Energy

Offshore renewable energy holds great promise. Recent studies estimate over 500 TW hours/year of wave energy are available along the U.S. West Coast alone with the potential for up to 900 GW of installed wind in the same waters. And although variable, offshore energy -- from wind, waves, currents, and tides -- is consistent and predictable enough to supply a significant portion of baseload demand. But important questions remain: how can these projects be sited to avoid impacts to sensitive marine life? Can the promise be delivered, and if so, when? Our distinguished panelists helped develop answers based on their real-world experience as regulators, developers, and stake-holders for PG&E's WaveConnect project and the first U.S. offshore wind project, Cape Wind.

David Ismay, Farella Braun + Martel LLP (moderator)
William Toman, SAIC Maritime Solutions
Laura Engeman, California Ocean Protection Council
Leila Monroe, NRDC Oceans Program

Speaker powerpoints