Florida/UK Partnership Hopes to Harness Ocean Energy

Written by on August 18, 2008 in Policy & Ocean Law, Technology

(This article was originally published on OceanLines on August 18, 2008.)

Florida Governor Charlie Crist visited several universities and organizations in the United Kingdom recently to continue discussions on environmental issues. Governor Crist was accompanied by officials from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and FAU’s Center for Ocean Energy Technology (COET). The discussions were centered around formalizing agreements in areas of clean ocean energy and climate change.

“Currently, ocean energy is undeveloped compared to other conventional and renewable energy technologies,” said Dr. Frederick Driscoll, the technical director of the COET. The FAU/UK partnership hopes to explore and develop successful methods for using ocean energy by unifying efforts in the United States and abroad, starting with the Gulf Stream.

Last year, the UK and Florida signed a partnership agreement binding them to the Gulf Stream, a current that affects both the UK and Florida.

“FAU is working closely with the British Consulate in Miami, UK Trade & Investment and our other UK partners to help us understand and develop guidance for global policy as it relates to ocean energy extraction,” said FAU President Frank T. Brogan. “Furthermore, Florida and the UK are committed to increasing climate-friendly economic opportunities for our respective citizens, improving our public policies on reducing global emissions or greenhouse gases, exchanging expertise on research and technology, and increasing public awareness.”

A rendering of FAU's center for Ocean Energy Technology's proposed experimental research platform.

A rendering of FAU's center for Ocean Energy Technology's proposed experimental research platform.

The COET is working with FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute to create a system that is environmentally and ecologically safe. “Our Center for Ocean Energy Technology is focused on the ocean as a sustainable baseload energy research in two main forms: thermal energy associated with the heat from the sun absorbed by the ocean; and mechanical energy associated with ocean currents,” says Susan Skemp, executive director of the COET.

Established in 2006, the COET is the center of the Florida/UK partnership. The COET is a member of the Florida Energy Systems Consortium, which brings together researchers and technology from several different state universities including FAU, University of Florida, University of South Florida, Florida State University, and University of Central Florida. The COET research is focused on evaluation of available resources in offshore Florida with a real-time ocean observatory. Several platforms will be built offshore to allow certain technologies to be tested while developing potential solutions for ocean energy.

Copyright ©  2008 by OceanLines

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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