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Ocean Power Technologies, whose power-generating test buoy is pictured here, has been forced to deploy its technology in New Zealand and Australia, due to an ocean power licensing bureaucratic mess here in the U.S.  (Source: Ocean Power Technologies)
Political bickering may hold up plans to deploy and test new wave power technologies to the U.S.

When it comes to alternative energy, President-elect Barack Obama and his team, as in other tech fields, is stating that the time for change is now.  As part of his team's program, which encompasses wind, solar, and examining clean nuclear options, the team is turning its sights to ocean power.

Countries like Britain and Portugal have already jumped on exploiting the vast amount of energy in the ocean.  Powered by the gravitational pull of the moon, the Earth's tides carry a vast amount of energy, almost entirely untapped by current generators.  While the challenge of deploying a device out at sea that can withstand the elements and deliver power to the main land is considerable, many companies have already tackled the problem with innovative designs.

According to New York-based Environmental Defense Fund, a non-profit environmental advocacy organization, U.S. ocean power efforts, on the other hand, are stuck in a political mire.  The group met with President-elect Obama and his advisors to help them realize the nature of this problem.

In the U.S., two branches of government have been granted conflicting jurisdiction over the seas:  the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Minerals Management Service, part of the Department of the Interior.  The result has been a squabble over who's in charge of approving projects which has been unable to be resolved thus far.

The Minerals Management Service gained the power to issue licenses to alternative energy projects on the outer continental shelf, 3 to 200 miles off shore, with the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  That law, however, failed to eliminate the preexisting licensing authority granted to FERC.  Now both organizations claim they have the right to issue the license.

Thus far, both organizations have been unable to resolve the territory battle.  What has resulted is that funding for U.S. ocean-based alternative energy projects has dried up due to uncertainty about licensing.

The coalition pleading their case before President-elect Obama was composed of officials from local governments, utilities, environmental groups and ocean power companies, including Pennington, N.J.-based Ocean Power Technologies (OPTT).

If something is not done to clean up the mess, these groups say, the U.S. will lose its alternative energy lead to foreign competitors. Ocean Power Technologies is illustrating this as it is currently pulling some of its U.S. projects and has recently announced major projects in Australia and New Zealand.

The problem is among the toughest challenges to face the transition team, led by incoming Energy Secretary Steven Chu, currently a Professor of Physics and Molecular and Cellular Biology of University of California, Berkeley.

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RE: This just in
By MrBlastman on 12/29/2008 12:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, if you look at it closely - nuclear waste could be the end-all save-all of global starvation.


Simple. In many areas of the world, even with adequate water supply they just can not farm enough food (facts and figures ommitted). This is a huge problem! How better to solve this?

With nuclear waste my friend!

Nuclear wa---aaaaaat? Exactly! You see, with strategically placed nuclear waste deposits, or "fertilizer' if you will, we can mutate such crops yielding fantastic variations of our favorite food. Not only that, but it will grow faster, bigger, juicier - and, an added side effect, but cost reducing measure - will glow in the dark! This will allow farmers to work 24x7 because now, they can see what they farm in the middle of the night without having to raise their power bills with expensive lighting solutions.

Look, who wouldn't want a 20lb tomato in their fridge? With a small daily supplement Potassium iodide added to your diet in easy to swallow pills (there are chewables too for the kids and droppers for the elderly!), there is no reason to NOT look forward to the "fruits" of our efforts.

Let me break it down more simply for you:

a. Nuclear Power
b. Nuclear waste
c. Fertilize the crops
d. Everyone eats more than before! (now with more Potassium Iodide™!)

I have posted plan after plan about how to solve our global dilemma but no politicians seem to tune in. There are simple solutions to our worries - we just need to be a little creative with them.

*In all serious though nuclear waste disposal is a trivial problem which can be addressed in a very safe, hygienic manner without worry of contamination*

RE: This just in
By Jellodyne on 12/30/2008 12:21:15 PM , Rating: 3
Not to mention that lucrative tommaco crop. MMmmmm... tastes like grandma...

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