Tidal energy projects hold the promise of producing indigenous, renewable, predictable electricity without greenhouse gas emissions and with higher power densities (power output per unit area) than either solar photo-voltaic or wind projects. Tidal energy projects also may be useful in filling in the gaps in generation from other intermittent energy sources, such as wind projects. However, much of the required technology is still in the research and development stage, and the economic viability and environmental impacts of these technologies are largely unknown.
The Governor’s Task Force on Ocean Energy was created in November 2008 to recommend a strategy for moving forward as expeditiously as practical with the development of the ocean energy resources of the Gulf of Maine. The Task Force submitted its final report in December 2009. As a result, the Maine Legislature passed emergency legislation designed to encourage ocean energy development in an environmentally responsible manner.
This information sheet describes the current status of tidal and wave energy technology and how tidal energy projects are regulated in Maine.