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Energy Transition and the Future of Hydrokinetic Energy in the United States


September 12, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Environmental Law Institute
1730 M Street, NW, Suite 700 (Map)

Washington, DC (and via webinar)


This event is open to the public but you must register (there is a $50 fee for those who are not members of ELI).

  • Please REGISTER HERE by September 8. If you are unsure if you are an ELI member, contact prior to registering (or go HERE to join).
  • Go HERE to view ELI's event refund policies.
  • Webinar information will be emailed one business day prior to the event. If you are unsure if you can access the webinar via the GoToMeeting platform, please go HERE to view system requirements prior to registering.
  • All times noted are Eastern Time. There is no CLE for this course.

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An ELI Member Seminar

While off to a slow start in the United States, ocean energy technologies (wave, tidal, and current hydrokinetic energy) are already at an advanced phase of development in other parts of the world. The European Union is the current leader in ocean energy technology development, hosting more than 50% of tidal energy and about 45% of wave energy developers globally. In September 2016, Scotland opened its first grid connected tidal energy park, and eight EU countries have included ocean energy in their National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs).

In the U.S. however, development of hydrokinetic projects has been less successful. Wave and tidal energy developers claim that federal subsidies and tax cuts are insufficient to promote research and development, and some of the most successful ocean energy companies have moved overseas.

Though the current cost of hydrokinetic energy is higher in the U.S .compared to other fuels, and harnessing tidal and wave power poses technical challenges, some backers assert that tides are a more predictable source of renewable energy. Should more resources and subsidies be put into hydrokinetic energy research? What environmental impacts do these technologies pose compared to other renewable energy sources? What regulatory barriers need to be addressed to support the development of the hydrokinetic technology sector in the U.S.?

Xiao Recio-Blanco, Director, Ocean Program, Environmental Law Institute (moderator)
Annie Jones, Attorney-Advisor, Energy Projects, Office of General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Meghan Massaua, Mediator and Program Manager, Meridian Institute
additional panelist TBA...