resources are capable of contributing significantly to power generation in the United States.
Each of the five resource assessments provides valuable information that can be used to identify geographic regions of interest for the further study of potential MHK development. However, utilizing this information to further assess the MHK resource that could be practically available for electricity generation will require improvements in methodology and characterization. The assessment and development of each MHK resource will face unique challenges. Overall, the committee would like to emphasize that the practical resource for each of the individual potential power sources is likely to be much less than the theoretical or technical resource. An additional criticism regarding most of the assessments was the lack of some degree of study prioritization based on existing knowledge, which could have led to a stronger focus on areas with higher potential. Recommendations for future study are considered below.
The tidal resource assessment is likely to highlight regions of strong currents, but large uncertainties are included in its characterization of the resource. Errors of up to 30 percent in the estimated tidal currents translate into potential errors of more than a factor of two in the estimate of potential power. Although maximum extractable power may be regarded as an upper bound to the theoretical resource, it overestimates the technical resource because the turbine characteristics and efficiencies are not taken into account.
Recommendation: In regions where utility-scale power may be available, further modeling should include the representation of an extensive array of turbines in order to account for changes in the tidal and current flow regime at local and regional scales. For particularly large projects, the model domain extent will require expansion, probably to the edge of the outer continental shelf (Chapter 2).
The theoretical wave resource assessment estimates are reasonable, especially for mapping wave power density; however, the approach taken by the assessment group is not suitable for shallow water and is prone to