DOE Awards $5M for Ocean Energy Projects

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"Electricity is generated from waves, tides, currents and thermal gradients."

The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced eight joint research awards worth almost $5 million to support offshore wind energy and ocean energy projects.

The intent of the funding is to bridge gaps in understanding of the potential environmental effects of renewable ocean energy, in which electricity is generated from waves, tides, currents and thermal gradients. That's a sound plan for a nation with 12,380 miles of coastline, according to the CIA World Factbook.

Ultimately, the money shows that the DOE and Obama administration seek to invest in a number of different energy technologies with the hope that their sum can diversify the nation's energy mix with "greener" tech—a path to energy independence and, by extension, national security.

The announcement was made along with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE).

"There are many new and exciting renewable energy opportunities waiting for us in the ocean," NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco said in a statement. "These grants will help realize that potential by understanding environmental impacts and incorporating appropriate mitigation measures from the outset."

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