with incorporating temporally varying renewable resources such as wind and solar power, and those resources are likely to show greater temporal variability than MHK resources.
Continued development of U.S. MHK resources requires clear conceptual and operational definitions and objectives. While ultimately many of the questions raised about MHK resource development will be decided at the local, state, or regional level, there is an opportunity for DOE to play a leadership role in assessing resources and disseminating results. As first discussed in Chapter 1, the U.S. MHK energy community has not converged upon a common set of definitions for resource assessment and development. The committee has provided a conceptual framework for the MHK resource that is consistent with that of the European marine energy community. This common set of definitions was essential for understanding the factors considered when developing and comparing the five MHK resource assessments, and the committee feels it would be beneficial for DOE to either develop its own framework or adopt an existing framework.
Recommendation: DOE should develop or adopt a conceptual framework that clearly defines the theoretical, technical, and practical MHK energy resource.
Each of the resource assessment groups provides a useful contribution to understanding the distribution and possible magnitude of marine and hydrokinetic energy sources in the United States. However, the absence of a common framework allowed for a multitude of approaches to the individual assessments. In its interim report, the committee noted that the assessments suffered from a lack of coordination and consistency in terms of methodology, validation, and deliverable products. Each of the assessment groups chose its own method of evaluating the resource. While some variation between methodologies was due to differences in the MHK types, greater initial coordination among the assessors could have identified commonalities and facilitated comparison among the assessments.
Quantifying the interaction between MHK installations and the environment was a challenge for the assessment groups, as described in previous chapters. Deployment of MHK devices can lead to complex feedback effects for many of the assessed technologies. Analysis of these feedbacks affects both the technical and practical resource assessments (and in some cases the theoretical resource) and needs to be carefully evaluated. The committee was disappointed by the resource groups’ lack