Obama Administration Could Cut Wave and Tidal Energy Research

1 June 2009 (Last Updated June 1st, 2009 18:30)

The Obama administration is seeking a 25% cut in the research and development budget for wave and tidal power, it has been revealed. The administration has sought to cut wave and tidal research funding from $40m to $30m. At the same time the White House is seeking an 82% increase in sol

The Obama administration is seeking a 25% cut in the research and development budget for wave and tidal power, it has been revealed.

The administration has sought to cut wave and tidal research funding from $40m to $30m. At the same time the White House is seeking an 82% increase in solar power research funding, a 14% increase in geothermal funding and a 36% increase in wind power funding.

The decision to cut funding for tidal and wave power research comes only weeks after the Interior Department recommended that wave power could emerge as the leading offshore energy source in the Northwest. It also comes at a time when efforts to develop tidal power in Puget Sound are attracting national and international attention.

By some estimates, wave and tidal power could eventually meet 10% of the nation's electricity demand, about the same that hydropower currently delivers. Some experts have estimated that if only 0.2% of energy in ocean waves could be harnessed, the power produced would be enough to supply the entire world.

Energy Department spokesman Tom Welch, said the Obama administration is asking for ten times more for tidal and wave power than the Bush administration did.