Offshore Wave Power in the US: Environmental Issues


Title: Offshore Wave Power in the US: Environmental Issues
Publication Date:
December 21, 2004
Pages: 29
Technology Type:

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Hagerman, G.; Bedard, R. (2004). Offshore Wave Power in the US: Environmental Issues. Report by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Global Energy Partners LLC. pp 29.

E2I, the Electric Research Power Institute (EPRI) and Global Energy Partners LLC (Global) "the Project Team" are collaborating with state energy agencies and utilities from Maine, Massachusetts, San Fransisco-California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and the Department of Energy (DOE) National Renwable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to define system designs for wave energy conversion device power plants at one site in each of the states. The overall project objective is to demonstrate the feasibility of wave power and provide efficient, reliable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective electical energy and to create a push towards the development of a sustainable commercial market for this technology.


The Project Team considered the following six environmental issues:


  • Withdrawal of wave energy
  • Interactions with marine life and seabirds
  • Atmospheric and oceanic emissions
  • Interactions with coastal sedimentary processes
  • Visual appearance and noise
  • Potential conflicts with other uses of sea space
  • Installation and decommissioning


A tabular summary and an in-depth discussion of each of these issues is contained in the following report sections. The last two sections discuss the environmental benefits of wave energy technology relative to other electricity generation technologies. The report concludes that with given proper care in site planning and early dialogue with local stakeholders, offshore wave power promises to be one of the most environmentally benign electrical generation technologies.

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