The US Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) has announced funding of over $1.7 million for research and development in hydropower and marine energy. This funding will support 16 hydropower projects and 12 marine energy projects at national laboratories across the country.

Hydropower is a significant part of the US energy mix, accounting for 28.7% of the nation’s renewable electricity and 6.2% of total electricity generation. It plays a crucial role in maintaining grid reliability as more variable renewable sources like wind and solar are integrated.

Marine energy technologies, which capture power from waves, tides, and ocean currents, have the potential to meet nearly 60% of the US power generation needs. These resources are highly predictable and could contribute significantly to a stable and reliable clean energy grid.

The funded projects are part of WPTO’s Seedlings and Saplings program, designed to foster innovative research at DOE national laboratories. Seedling projects receive up to $100,000, with successful projects eligible for additional funding of up to $150,000 to continue their work.

Researchers from Idaho National Laboratory (INL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and Sandia National Laboratories will lead these efforts.

Full details of the ‘Seedlings’ projects selected can be found on the WPTO website.