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Renewable Ocean Energy Technology

Wind

Designed to harness the energy potential of the Earth’s ocean winds, all wind power facilities in the United States are currently located on land, however several offshore projects have recently been proposed. There are several offshore wind farms already in operation throughout Europe. 

Nysted offshore wind farm (Denmark)
Barrow offshore wind farm (UK)

Wave

Harnessing the energy potential of ocean waves, there are multiple wave energy technologies in various phases of design and testing. The power in the moving wave might drive a turbine or other device directly or it might pressurize air or hydraulic fluid to power a generator.

PowerBuoy, Ocean Power Technologies

Current

Current energy projects are designed to harness the energy potential of the kinetic (free-flowing) force of moving water to spin a turbine or generator. At present, there are technologies in various phases of design and testing attempting to produce energy from tides, river, and ocean currents.

Seaflow, MCT Limited

Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC)

Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is an energy technology that converts solar radiation to electric power. OTEC systems use the ocean's natural thermal gradient—the varying temperatures of the ocean's layers—to drive a power-producing cycle. As long as the temperature between the warm surface water and the cold deep water differs by about 20°C (36°F), an OTEC system can produce a significant amount of power. OTEC facilities can be designed to operate onshore or offshore.

OTEC Diagram, Nat'l Renewable Energy Lab