Marine energy or marine power (also sometimes referred to as ocean energy or ocean power) refers to the energy carried by ocean waves, tides, salinity, and ocean temperature differences. The movement of water in the world’s oceans creates a vast store of kinetic energy, or energy in motion. This energy can be harnessed to generate electricity to power homes, transport and industries.
The term marine energy encompasses both wave power — power from surface waves, and tidal power — obtained from the kinetic energy of large bodies of moving water. Offshore wind power is not a form of marine energy, as wind power is derived from the wind, even if the wind turbines are placed over water.
The oceans have a tremendous amount of energy and are close to many if not most concentrated populations. Ocean energy has the potential of providing a substantial amount of new renewable energy around the world.1
The theoretical potential is equivalent to 4-18 million ToE.
|5,000||50,000||Marine current power3|
|1,000||10,000||Ocean thermal energy|
|This section requires expansion. (September 2010)|
The oceans represent a vast and largely untapped source of energy in the form of surface waves, fluid flow, salinity gradients, and thermal.
The energy obtained from ocean currents
The energy from salinity gradients.
The power from temperature differences at varying depths.
The energy from moving masses of water — a popular form of hydroelectric power generation. Tidal power generation comprises three main forms, namely: tidal stream power, tidal barrage power, and dynamic tidal power.
The power from surface waves.
Petroleum and natural gas beneath the ocean floor are also sometimes considered a form of ocean energy. An ocean engineer directs all phases of discovering, extracting, and delivering offshore petroleum (via oil tankers and pipelines,) a complex and demanding task. Also centrally important is the development of new methods to protect marine wildlife and coastal regions against the undesirable side effects of offshore oil extraction.
- Carbon Trust, Future Marine Energy. Results of the Marine Energy Challenge: Cost competitiveness and growth of wave and tidal stream energy, January 2006
- International Energy Agency, Implementing Agreement on Ocean Energy Systems (IEA-OES), Annual Report 2007
- US Department of the Interior (May 2006). "Ocean Current Energy Potential on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf" (pdf). Retrieved 2 November 2010.
- Indonesian Ocean Energy
- The Ocean Energy Systems Implementing Agreement
- European Ocean Energy Association
- Ocean Energy Council
- SuperGen UK Centre for Marine Energy Research
- Marine Energy Times, information website