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Ocean Energy Technology Basics

August 16, 2013 - 4:18pm


Photo of low waves in the ocean.  A dock is visible in the background.

Oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth's surface. As the world's largest solar collectors, oceans contain thermal energy from the sun and produce mechanical energy from tides and waves. Even though the sun affects all ocean activity, the gravitational pull of the moon primarily drives tides, and wind powers ocean waves.

Marine and hydrokinetic technologies capture energy from oceans and rivers—including waves, tides, ocean currents, free-flowing rivers, streams, and ocean thermal gradients—to generate electricity. Although these technologies are at a very early stage of development, they hold significant promise for adding to our nation's renewable energy portfolio.

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