> Oceanography > Issues > Archive > Volume 23, Number 2

2010, Oceanography 23(2):16–21, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2010.39

Ocean Renewable Energy's Potential Role in Supplying Future Electrical Energy Needs

Authors | Introduction | Full Article | Citation


Robert Thresher | National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), US Department of Energy (DOE), Golden, CO, USA

Walter Musial | NREL, DOE, Golden, CO, USA



The world is facing enormous environmental issues as human consumption has begun to stress Earth's resources, and thus, our ability to sustain our existence in the way we are accustomed. In parallel with finding ways to mitigate the impact of climate change, we must address the important issue of depletion of conventional energy supplies. A diverse portfolio of energy sources must be developed that also achieves the needed atmospheric carbon reductions. Earth's ocean contains large amounts of untapped clean renewable energy resources that can play a significant role in our future energy portfolio. These resources are found in the waves, currents, tides, and ocean thermal gradients. Indeed, ocean energy sources could become the primary energy source for some resource-rich coastal communities.


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Thresher, R., and W. Musial. 2010. Ocean renewable energy's potential role in supplying future electrical energy needs. Oceanography 23(2):16–21, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2010.39.