policies for commercial projects, technology development, environmental management, and funding. However, it is important to note that each of the independent assessment groups contracted by DOE employed different methodologies and terminology to describe conceptually similar results, probably because the DOE funding opportunity announcements (Appendix A) lacked clear direction.
As part of its assessment of MHK resources, DOE asked the National Research Council (NRC) to provide detailed evaluations. In response, the NRC formed the Committee on Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy Technology Assessment. As directed in its statement of task (SOT), the committee first developed an interim report, released in June 2011, which focused on the wave and tidal resource assessments (Appendix B). The current report contains the committee’s evaluation of all five of the DOE resource categories as well as the committee’s comments on the overall MHK resource assessment process. This summary focuses on the committee’s overarching findings and conclusions regarding a conceptual framework for developing the resource assessments, the aggregation of results into a single number, and the consistency across and coordination between the individual resource assessments. Critiques of the individual resource assessments are contained in Chapters 2 through 6 of this report, further discussion of the practical MHK resource base is in Chapter 7, and overarching conclusions and recommendations are found in Chapter 8.
To shape its approach to the SOT and to review individual resource assessments within a single context, the committee created a conceptual framework for the overall MHK resource assessment (Figure S-1). The conceptual framework allowed the committee and those who read its report to conceptualize the processes used to assess the resources. It established a set of three terms—theoretical resource, technical resource, and practical resource—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 used by the five assessment groups. An example of the relationship between the theoretical, technical, and practical resources is found in Box S-1.
• The theoretical resource, shown in the left column of the conceptual framework in Figure S-1, is the average annual energy available for each source of MHK energy. The resource assessment groups produced two key outputs from their assessments of the theoretical resource: (1) overall regional or national numbers for the U.S. theoretical resource, expressed as an average annual