“Ocean (water) currents of the world are untapped reservoirs of energy,” according to a 2009 hearing before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. Hydro Kinetic power represents a viable, sustainable energy generation alternative.
This industry is ripe for growth in the United States. ” Many countries are developing MHK energy technologies. Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, China, Sweden, Mexico, Germany, Australia, Portugal, India, Ireland, Japan, Denmark, Greece, New Zealand and many others are all operating Marine Hydro-Kinetic energy devices at the various scales of testing and commercialization.”
While development costs may be high initially, government subsidies in energy and green sustainability programs will alleviate and offset these initial cost barriers. An example of this is the Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Act of 2007. This act directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to “support RD&D and commercial application programs for MHK renewable energy technologies…and authorized DOE to provide grants to higher education institutions for the establishment of national centers for marine renewable energy research, development, and demonstration.” Just how much did the U.S. government authorize in this area? The answer – $50,000,000 appropriated from 2008-2012.
According to House testimony by Roger Bedard, Ocean Energy Leader for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a non-profit collaborative R&D organization, the overall sustainable benefits include:
- Provision of a new, environmentally friendly, renewable energy source
- Easy assimilation into the grid (because of the predictability of the resource)
- Ease of transmission constraints with minimal, if any, aesthetic concerns
- Reduced dependence on imported energy supplies
- Reduced risk of future fossil fuel price volatility
- Reduced emissions of greenhouse gases
- Stimulated local job creation and economic development 
Hearing before the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment Committee on Science and Technology – U.S. House of Representatives, December 3, 2009,, 2009, pg. 4.