Looking Back at Ocean Power Technologies’ Canceled Oregon Project

by Henry Kaplan | Apr 28, 2014 |

(Sea stacks on the Oregon coast.)

A few weeks back, Ocean Power Technologies scrapped their once-exciting plan to build an ocean energy project off the coast of Oregon, due to what they said was a “considerable increase in costs.” Yesterday, the New York Times published a piece about the project and what it says about ocean power technology and business. When it comes to economic viability, ocean energy is lagging behind solar and wind power, which have grown fast in the U.S. Ocean wave energy, the NYT points out, lags behind even ocean tidal energy, which can more easily make use of existing hydro energy engineering.

One of the interesting points in the article – other countries continue to make use of American research faster than America:

The Oregon project also follows an increasingly familiar story line in renewable energy, of another country transplanting a promising endeavor seeded by American taxpayers, in this case helped by a former United States government official. Cash-starved, the company brought in Lockheed Martin as a partner in its deal with the Australian government, announcing only weeks earlier that it had hired a retired Marine Corps major general, David R. Heinz, as a vice president. Mr. Heinz knew Lockheed well, having been dismissed from a position overseeing the contractor in a fighter plane program plagued by cost overruns.

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