Committee on Science and Technology
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Legislative Highlights :: May 17, 2007

Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Act of 2007

H.R. 2313

Bill Summary and Status

Reported (as amended) by the full Committee, June 13, 2007

Reported (as amended) by the Energy & Environment Subcommittee June 6, 2007

Introduced in the House May 15, 2007

Bill Summary

H.R. 2313 directs the Secretary of Energy to support programs of research, development, demonstration, and commercial application in marine renewable energy technologies. It also establishes National Centers for the testing of marine renewable energy technologies.

Section-by-Section

Section 1. Short Title
Act may be cited as the “Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Act of 2007”

Section 2. Findings
Marine renewable energy sources – including waves, tidal flows, ocean currents, and thermal gradients – are clean, renewable, domestic sources of energy that have the potential to provide significant amounts of electricity to the nation’s power grid. Technologies designed to harness marine energy sources are already providing grid power in Europe. Recent studies have identified an abundance of viable sites for marine renewable energy production in coastal areas of the United States, but expanded research and development is necessary to further develop the related technologies and hasten their commercial application. Federal support can be instrumental in hastening the development of marine renewable energy technologies and reducing the risk of investing in these areas.

Section 3. Definitions
Provides definitions for the following terms used in the Act: ‘Marine Renewable Energy’ (includes usable energy derived from waves, tidal flows, ocean currents, and thermal gradients), and ‘Secretary’.

Section. 4. Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development
Instructs the Secretary to support programs of research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of energy production from renewable marine resources, and outlines some specific programs of research and development that should be supported. Section 4 also instructs the Secretary, in conjunction with other appropriate Federal agencies, to develop siting criteria for marine renewable energy technologies. Such criteria must be developed prior to installation of any projects funded under this Act.

Section 5. Marine Renewable Energy Research and Demonstration Centers
Instructs the Secretary to establish one or more Centers for the research, development, and demonstration of marine renewable energy technologies. The Center (or Centers) is intended as a permanent research facility located in an environmentally suitable area, subject to all relevant Local, State, and Federal permitting requirements. It will provide facilities for researching and monitoring power electronics and energy systems, as well as a stable connection to the power grid. The location for the Center(s) is to be chosen from among university candidates that meet one or more of several criteria specified in the bill. The bill provides the Secretary with the authority to establish more than one Center, if necessary, because it could be that no single location is appropriate for researching energy extraction from all of the different types of marine renewable energy resources covered by the bill. The Center(s) will also serve as an information clearinghouse, collecting and disseminating scientific and technological data relevant to marine renewable energy development for the benefit of the research community and the industry.

Section 6. Applicability of Other Laws
Affirms the applicability of all requirements under Federal and State laws, including environmental laws, to projects undertaken under this Act.

Section 7. Authorization of Appropriations
Authorizes appropriations of $50,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2008 through 2012.

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