In collaboration with the International Energy Agency, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) recently launched a new database that brings together environmental monitoring and worldwide ocean energy development efforts. Called Tethys, the database will show the interrelationship between processes in nature and ocean power technology, and will function as a resource to help keep environmental responsibility at the forefront of ocean-based energy production projects.
Named after the Greek titaness of the ocean, Tethys will help industry regulators and energy project developers alike identify possible environmental effects of the efforts to gain sustainable, clean energy from the world’s oceans. Tethys offers real-world data that accounts for the interconnectedness of oceanic ecosystems and technology, and offers insight on the interactions between energy-producing machines, marine wildlife, and the physical processes of the ocean. Having all of this data compiled together-- from tidal current turbines projects to published studies on offshore wind farms and marine mammals--will allow for a safer expansion of ocean power. According to the DOE’s announcement, the database also has an accompanying report that highlights research on ways to monitor ocean energy projects and possible environmental effects.
The world’s oceans offer immense potential for alternative energy development. As with any alternative energy resource, however, ocean power developers must taken into account any negative environmental impacts from the technology in order for ocean power to be a truly renewable source of energy. As a living document, Thethys will constantly increase our global understanding of the ocean as new projects and new research data arise. In order to expand Tethys’s usefulness for current and future ocean power projects, the DOE encourages researchers to submit their studies to the database.
You can view an interactive map of Tethys here, and check out the technological developments in and environmental research on oceans around the world.
written by Cassie, February 21, 2013