Acting Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Jon Wellinghoff recently published Facilitating Hydrokinetic Energy Development Through Regulatory Innovation.
Consider it required reading as a backgrounder on US wave energy policy development, FERC’s position on the MMS in renewables and FERC’s perceived role as a government agency in renewable energy, specifically marine energy, development.
Missing from this key document are the environmental and socio-economic-geographic elements and the related approval process and regulations for:
- environmental exposure, noting pre/during/post impact studies and mitigation elements at each and every marine energy location;
- socio-economic factors at each and every marine location (including a community plan with local/state/federal levels of participation).
Approaching the marine renewable energy frontier with a gestalt view toward technology, policy and environmental concerns is a recommended path for safe exploration and development of new renewable energy solutions.
It has been FERC’s position that energy regulatory measures and policies must precede before serious launch of US projects and other documents by Wellinghoff have noted a six month lead time for policy development alone.
MendoCoastCurrent sees all elements fast-tracked in tandem. Environmental studies/impact statements are gathered as communities gear up to support the project(s) while technology and funding partners consider siting with best practices and cost-efficient deployment of safe marine energy generation. All of these elements happen concurrently while FERC, DOI/MMS, DOE local and state governments explore, structure and build our required, new paradigm for safe and harmonious ocean energy policies.