Peer Review Keynote Speakers Announced

ENERGY.GOV - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The Water Wire

September 11, 2019

WPTO Peer Review Keynote Speakers and FAST Prize Pitch Contest

The keynote speakers have been announced for WPTO’s biennial Program and Project Peer Review on October 8–10, 2019, in Alexandria, Virginia. The keynote speakers are:

  • Daniel Simmons, Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Emily Reichert, CEO, Greentown Labs
  • Dan Reicher, Lecturer, Stanford Law School
  • Malcolm Woolf, CEO and President, National Hydropower Association

Additionally, WPTO will host side events on Monday, October 7 – the day before Peer Review. Two marine energy workshops will take place – focused on a techno-economic evaluation tool and on long-term cost reduction goals for marine energy technologies. Concurrently, the nine finalists in the Furthering Advancements to Shorten Time to Commissioning in Pumped-Storage Hydropower (FAST) Prize will present their concepts to a panel of judges. The FAST prize is designed to accelerate the commissioning times of pumped-storage hydropower projects from 10 years to five, while reducing both cost and risk.

WPTO’s Peer Review and all side events are free and open to the public.

Call for Abstracts: International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE)

ICOE is now accepting abstracts for next year’s conference through October 11, 2019 ET. Five topic areas have been identified to focus attention on specific areas of interest:

  • International Developer and Technology Showcase
  • The Future of Our Oceans and Ocean Energy’s Potential to Power the Blue Economy
  • Foundational and Cross‐Cutting Research and Development
  • Enabling the Long‐term Evolution of Ocean Energy Industries
  • How Do We Get There? Securing Funding, Supportive Policies, and Regulatory Acceptance

ICOE will be held at the Marriott Marquis May 19–21, 2020, in Washington, DC, and the theme is “Energizing a Powerful Blue Economy.” Expanding demand for ocean-derived food, materials, energy, and knowledge is driving rapid growth in the emerging blue economy across the globe. This event is supported by Ocean Energy Systems (OES), an intergovernmental collaboration that operates under a framework established by the International Energy Agency.

New HydroWIRES Report: Energy Storage Technology and Cost Characterization

The newest report under WPTO’s HydroWIRES initiative—Energy Storage Technology and Cost Characterization—evaluates the cost and performance parameters of pumped storage hydropower (PSH) alongside other energy storage technologies. The report’s cost information is based on an extensive literature review, conversations with vendors and stakeholders, and summaries of actual costs provided from specific projects at sites across the United States. PSH and compressed air energy storage give the lowest average costs per kWh for 16-hour storage durations.

Informational Webinar: Marine Energy Collegiate Competition

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will hold an informational webinar on October 3 at 12:00 p.m. ET about the recently announced Collegiate Marine Energy Competition. Designed to challenge interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of programs, students will identify new market opportunities and ways for marine energy to overcome energy limitations across the growing blue economy.

The Competition will be held in conjunction with the International Conference on Ocean Energy in Washington, DC, in May 2020. It will provide students with real-world experience and industry connections that will help them prepare for future careers in marine energy and ocean science and technology. View the competition webpage here.

Living Bridge Harnesses Tidal Energy in New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire’s Living Bridge is a multi-use, multi-benefit civil engineering project that features a tidal turbine deployment platform funded by the Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO). Powered by tidal energy, the bridge is the first of its kind to feature a renewable energy source other than solar. Watch this video to see how this “smart” bridge provides researchers, engineers, and the general public with information from traffic patterns to tidal data. 

How Renewable Energy Can Fuel the Blue Economy

WPTO marine engineer David Hume wrote a guest blog post for The Economist Group World Ocean Initiative that assesses how innovations in renewable energy technology could help develop a sustainable ocean economy. 

Water Security Grand Challenge: Workshop Outcomes Summary

The Energy Department hosted a workshop on October 25, 2018, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to gather input from external experts on prize competitions that could address water and associated energy-related challenges. More than 80 experts from 40 institutions, including water technology providers, trade organizations, energy producers, nonprofit organizations, academia, federal agencies, and DOE National Laboratories attended. Participants contributed to breakout groups that developed prize ideas that align with the goals and topics of the Water Security Grand Challenge, a White House-initiated, DOE-led framework to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water.

In Case You Missed It:

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Releases Hydropower Workforce Report

woman stands on a barge with a hardhat on.

Released during the HydroVision International Conference in July, NREL’s Workforce Development for U.S. Hydropower report provides a summary of the current U.S. hydropower industry workforce and educational programs based on data from a number of different sources, and examines potential future hydropower workforce needs. It highlights future scenarios under which tens of thousands of new jobs could be added in the coming 10-20 years. The size of the U.S. hydropower workforce—which encompasses those working at hydropower plants, in construction, engineering, manufacturing and environmental sciences—could potentially double. 

Reddit AskScience Ask Me Anything (AMA) Series: Pumped Storage Hydropower

Last month, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Dhruv Bhatnagar, Research Engineer, and Bo Saulsbury, Project Manager for Environmental Assessment and Engineering, hosted a Reddit AMA about pumped storage hydropower. The AMA had 285 comments and was upvoted 94%.


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