In order to develop its approach to the study task and to review the individual resource assessments, the committee developed a conceptual framework (Figure 1) for visualizing the processes used to develop the assessment results requested by the DOE. This framework establishes a set of three terms—theoretical resource, technical resource, and practical resource—and their definitions, provided below, to clarify elements of the overall resource assessment process as described by each assessment group and to allow for a comparison of different methods, terminology, and processes among the five assessment groups. The committee recognizes that communities involved with other energy types, such as wind and fossil fuels, use different terms to describe their resource bases (i.e., “resources,” “proven reserves"). It has instead chosen to follow emerging trends in terminology for MHK resources as used in the European marine energy community, including the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC; http://www.emec.org.uk/standards.asp). The EMEC terminology has been submitted to the International Electrotechnical Commission for consideration as the basis of an international standard. In addition to employing terminology used in the European marine energy community, the committee developed Table 1 as a common source of definitions and units used in this report.
FIGURE 1 Conceptual framework developed by the committee for marine and hydrokinetic resource assessments. NOTE: GIS, Geographic Information System; TBD, to be determined.