Hydrokinetic and Ocean Energy

The world’s oceans represent a vast untapped resource for renewable energy generation, and a host of technology companies are emerging to pursue the great frontier of hydrokinetic power. According to a recent report from Pike Research, if ocean energy trial projects are successful in the next few years, this new industry could represent a significant new source of electricity, reaching up to 200 gigawatts (GW) of installed generation capacity by 2025.

“The ocean energy business is right on the cusp,” says managing director Clint Wheelock. “The industry is still in a proof-of-concept phase for several key technologies, and the outcome of early pilot projects will determine whether wave energy, tidal energy, and other technologies are ready for prime time.” Wheelock adds that more than 300 hydrokinetic projects are already in the works around the world.

The earth is the water planet, so it should come as no great surprise that hydroelectricity has been the world’s most popular renewable energy source. Yet the largest water power source of all — the ocean that covers three-quarters of the planet — has yet to be tapped in any major way for power generation.

This Pike Research report reviews five main types of marine and hydrokinetic technologies: ocean wave, tidal stream, river hydrokinetic, ocean current and ocean thermal resources. On the verge of widespread commercialization, with the U.K., U.S., and Canada in the lead, this suite of marine renewable resources is poised for major growth over the next five years, and could collectively capture as much as 10 or even 15 percent of the global electricity market by 2030. Readers will learn about the market leaders in each marine renewable segment, and the make-or-break issues facing more than 100 companies seeking to gain competitive advantage in the world’s hottest new renewable energy sector.

In addition to analyzing the suitable applications and viability of each of the five technologies, the report examines market conditions for ocean and river hydrokinetic energy around the world, including key drivers of industry development as well as regulatory issues and government incentives and subsidies. Implementation issues and challenges are also analyzed, including technology standardization issues, site permitting, grid interconnection, and power transmission and distribution issues. Detailed market forecasts for each of the five technologies are provided for each major region of the world, and key industry players are profiled including an assessment of their relative strengths and weaknesses within the market.