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Ocean Power

Texas does not generate energy from ocean power, and its Gulf of Mexico waters do not produce the ideal conditions needed to convert wave or tidal energy to electricity. The Gulf is generally too shallow and enclosed to produce a good potential for ocean power. There has been speculation about using the “Loop Current,” a stream of ocean water running from the Caribbean into the Gulf, but its route is inconsistent and generally does not approach the Texas coast.

Ocean power includes technologies that tap the sea’s energy, not only that of crashing waves but also the motion of tides and even the heat stored in the oceans, which are the world’s largest solar collectors. Ocean power, then, includes three types: wave power, tidal power and thermal energy conversion. But none of these types of ocean power are well suited for the Gulf of Mexico.

Cost

Per Million Btu No cost as an input for generating electricity.
Direct Subsidy Share of Total Consumer Spending N/A
Notes Electricity generation from ocean energy entails transmission costs.

Economic Impact and Viability

Wages and Jobs None in Texas.
Regulatory Climate N/A
Texas Competitive Advantage None. The Gulf of Mexico is generally too enclosed and shallow to have good potential for ocean energy production.

Availability and Current Infrastructure

Estimated Resources in Texas None. Texas has no energy generated from ocean power, and its Gulf of Mexico waters do not provide the conditions needed to convert wave or tidal energy to electricity.
Current Fuel Production N/A
Consumption in Texas None.

Environment, Health and Safety

Greenhouse Gas Emissions No significant issues.
Air Pollution (Non-Greenhouse Gas) No significant issues.
Solid Waste No significant issues.
Land Use The use of ocean power to produce electricity can interfere with sea life migration, cause seabed sedimentation and interfere with naval navigation.
Water Withdrawal No significant issues.
Water Consumption No significant issues.
Water Quality No significant issues.

Fuel Characteristics

Energy Content Variable; depends on tidal flows and currents.
Renewability Ocean power is a renewable resource.

Other Issues

Dependence on Foreign Suppliers No significant issues.
Price and Supply Risks No significant issues. As with the development of all new technologies, there have been and will be failures of prototypes and other such challenges.
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