July 29, 2008
Tide, Current, and Wave Energy
In the face of climate change, energy prices, and national security concerns, renewable ocean energy--including tide, current and wave energy--offers a promising alternative and supplement to existing non-renewable energy sources. From a conservation perspective, its ability to mitigate climate change impacts must be weighed against potential harm that may occur to the marine environment. The existing regulatory framework is at its infancy and needs to develop in such a way as to provide regulatory certainty for industry while at the same time ensuring that proper consideration of existing and future environmental conditions. In this seminar, the panel discussed tide, current, and wave energy development in the U.S. and specifically considered the recent programmatic environmental impact statement for the new alternative energy program at Minerals Management Service.
Jim McElfish, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute
Panelists (see extended bios at the bottom of this page):
Edward Abrams, Deputy Director, Div. of Hydropower Licensing, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Thomas Woodworth, Senior Policy Analyst, Alternative Energy Programs, U.S. Minerals Management Service
Carolyn Elefant, Co-Founder and Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition
Alejandro Moreno, Technology Manager for Water Power Activities, U.S. Department of Energy
Charlotte de Fontaubert, Senior Marine Advisor, IUCN-USA
Edward Abrams PowerPoint presentation (printer-friendly version)
Charlotte de Fontaubert "Conflict Resolution for Addressing Climate Change With Ocean-Altering Projects, " 37 ELR 10740.
Alejandro Moreno PowerPoint presentation (printer-friendly version)
Thomas Woodworth PowerPoint presentation (printer-friendly version)
The 2008 Ocean Seminar Series is made possible by generous support from the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation.
Please click here for more information on the
2008 Ocean Seminar Series.
Alejandro Moreno is the Department of Energy’s technology manager for water power activities. He leads DOE’s research program on electricity generation from water-based resources, including conventional hydropower as well as marine and hydrokinetic resources such as waves, tides, currents, and differentials in water temperature. He also serves as the U.S. delegate to the Executive Committee of the International Energy Implementing Agreement on Ocean Energy Systems. Alejandro has a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in International Economics and Energy Policy from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
Ed Abrams is the Deputy Director of the Division of Hydropower Licensing in FERC’s Office of Energy Projects. Ed has over 30 years experience licensing hydroelectric projects at FERC.
Tom Woodworth serves as a senior policy analyst with the Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service, Office of Alternative Energy Programs. In that capacity, Tom has worked on all aspects of program development, including the preparation of proposed program regulations and the ongoing environmental review of the Cape Wind energy proposal in Nantucket Sound. Prior to arriving at the Department of the Interior, Tom was an attorney with Vinson & Elkins, LLP, in Houston, TX, and Washington, D.C., practicing environmental, administrative and transactional law.
Charlotte de Fontaubert’s experience in marine conservation spans 15 years and ranges from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the United States Senate to the establishment of marine parks in East Africa. She also ran the Greenpeace oceans campaign in Washington for two years. Charlotte completed her Master’s degree in Marine Policy at the London School of Economics and a Ph.D. in Marine Studies at the University of Delaware. In addition to international diplomacy and field work, Charlotte has extensive teaching experience, having taught at the University of Delaware and American University in Washington, DC, as well as spending almost two years teaching marine policy for Boston University in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Charlotte has been associated with IUCN since 1998 and is a member of three of IUCN’s commissions, the Marine Turtle Specialist Group, the World Commission on Protected Areas and the Commission on Environmental Law.
Carolyn Elefant is an attorney with the Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant in Washington D.C. where she specializes in energy regulatory matter and marine renewables development. Elefant is also counsel to the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition, a trade association that she co-founded in 2005. Since 2003, Elefant has covered legal and financial news and emerging technology related to wind, tidal and offshore wind at her popular blog, renewablesoffshore.com. Carolyn received her undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and a JD from Cornell Law School.