In a landmark move aimed at leveraging marine energy for global net zero objectives, the National Hydropower Association (NHA) in the US and Marine Renewables Canada (MRC) have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), solidifying their commitment to collaborative advancement and knowledge exchange in marine energy development.

Renowned as leading advocates for marine energy within their respective nations, NHA and MRC are dedicated to propelling marine energy solutions forward. This partnership marks a significant stride towards nurturing a thriving marine energy sector on a global scale.

The MoU signifies a pivotal milestone in aligning shared objectives. Through the amalgamation of their expertise and resources, NHA and MRC aim to spearhead innovation, surmount challenges, and expedite the transition towards a sustainable energy landscape by amplifying the potential of marine energy.

Marine energy holds immense promise in decarbonizing energy portfolios across the US and Canada, offering deployment avenues in offshore power, "Blue Economy" sectors, rural and remote communities, and utility-scale grid applications.

According to the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), marine energy resources in the US alone are estimated at 2,300 terawatt hours annually, equivalent to 56% of the nation’s total electricity generation in 2021. Harnessing just a fraction of these resources could supply 5.6% of total electricity generation, sufficient to power over 22 million households. To put this in perspective, domestic installed hydropower and solar power capacity each contributed roughly 5.6% of total US electricity in 2023.

Canada boasts some of the globe’s most auspicious tidal, wave, river current, and offshore wind energy reservoirs. Over the past decade, the nation has made substantial headway in nurturing its marine renewable energy domain, with ongoing tidal energy initiatives in the Bay of Fundy and endeavours to substitute diesel in remote communities with marine energy alternatives.

Elisa Obermann, Executive Director of Marine Renewables Canada, voiced confidence in the collaboration, remarking: “At this stage in industry development, we need to work together to advance marine energy to a truly commercial clean energy solution. This strengthened collaboration with NHA will support our collective memberships in tackling challenges and bolster U.S. and Canadian efforts to address joint priorities for sector growth.”

“While progress is being made in the marine energy sector, there are still challenges to growing the sector in the United States and internationally,” underscored Malcolm Woolf, President and CEO of NHA. “By working more closely with Marine Renewables Canada, we hope to collaborate on key challenges, build partnerships amongst our memberships, and share information and best practices that can help accelerate the sector’s development.”