Renewable Energy SmartPod

Ocean-Based Climate Solutions and the Blue Economy

September 08, 2022 Sean McMahon Season 2 Episode 8
Ocean-Based Climate Solutions and the Blue Economy
Renewable Energy SmartPod
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Renewable Energy SmartPod
Ocean-Based Climate Solutions and the Blue Economy
Sep 08, 2022 Season 2 Episode 8
Sean McMahon

This episode is all about the "Blue Economy." Jason Busch is the Executive Director of the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust and he joins the show to talk about the many ways the ocean can power a more sustainable future. Offshore wind energy has certainly been in the headlines as of late, so Jason covers that topic, but he also provides an update on other blue technologies. Technologies like wave energy and tidal energy as well as other ocean-based carbon dioxide removal solutions that can help boost the role the ocean already plays in reducing carbon in our atmosphere.  And finally … Jason offers a preview of the agenda for Ocean Energy Week, which is a big conference Jason and the team at POET are helping host next week in Portland, Oregon.

More resources

Ocean Energy Week 2022

Pacific Ocean Energy Trust

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Follow the show on Twitter @RenewablesPod

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This episode is all about the "Blue Economy." Jason Busch is the Executive Director of the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust and he joins the show to talk about the many ways the ocean can power a more sustainable future. Offshore wind energy has certainly been in the headlines as of late, so Jason covers that topic, but he also provides an update on other blue technologies. Technologies like wave energy and tidal energy as well as other ocean-based carbon dioxide removal solutions that can help boost the role the ocean already plays in reducing carbon in our atmosphere.  And finally … Jason offers a preview of the agenda for Ocean Energy Week, which is a big conference Jason and the team at POET are helping host next week in Portland, Oregon.

More resources

Ocean Energy Week 2022

Pacific Ocean Energy Trust

Sign up for the Renewable Energy SmartBrief

Follow the show on Twitter @RenewablesPod

ABS Quality Evaluations
Global leader in business assurance services

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Sign up for the Renewable Energy SmartBrief

Follow the show on Twitter @RenewablesPod

(Note: This transcript was created using artificial intelligence. It has NOT been edited verbatim.)

Sean McMahon  00:08

What's up everyone, and welcome to the Renewable Energy SmartPod. I'm your host Sean McMahon. Coming up on today's episode, we're going to spend some time talking about the blue economy. That's right, the blue economy. Jason Busch is the executive director of the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust. And he'll join me to talk about the many ways the ocean can be used to power a more sustainable future. Now, offshore wind has certainly been in the headlines as of late. So Jason and I will cover that topic. But he's also going to provide an update on other blue technologies, technologies like wave energy, tidal energy, as well as other ocean-based climate solutions that can help boost the role the ocean already plays in reducing carbon in our atmosphere. And finally, we'll take a peek at the agenda for Ocean Energy Week. It's a big event that Jason and the team at POET are helping host next week in Portland, Oregon. 

If you haven't already listened to the last two episodes of this podcast, I urge you to give them a listen to learn a ton about the impact the inflation Reduction Act will have on the transition to renewables in the United States. Lauren Collins from Vinson and Elkins looked at things from a tax incentives perspective. Well, Joseph Triepke and Daniel Cruz from Lium Research, gave us their view on how the IRA will shape the build out of individual renewable energy sectors. Those are two great episodes, so check them out when you can. 

Looking ahead, we've got some exciting shows on the way. In particular, we're going to spend a lot of time talking about the latest in battery technology, and battery energy storage systems. So lots of great insights are coming your way. But before we kick things off with Jason Busch from Pacific Ocean Energy Trust, here's a quick word from our sponsor, ABS Quality Evaluations.

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Sean McMahon  02:43

Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining me for today's episode. I'm pleased to be joined by my guest, Jason Busch. Jason is the executive director of the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust. Jason, how you doing today?

Jason Busch  02:54

I'm doing pretty well. Thanks, Sean.

Sean McMahon  02:56

I'm excited to bring you on here. I think a lot of our listeners are gonna want to learn more about what you and your organization do. So walk me through it. What is the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust or POET? What is the organization all about?

Jason Busch  03:06

Sure. Well, Sean, POET is a 501 C three nonprofit with a mission to promote ocean based climate solutions. We grew out of an earlier organization called a wet Oregon Wave Energy Trust. And we started back in 2007. I came on as the executive director in 2009. And I've been here ever since. So for the last, you know, 13 years, I've had this sort of unique opportunity to engage in marine energy and had the opportunity to watch the development of technologies such as wave energy, tidal energy, ocean currents. Eventually, our organization which was originally state funded transition to a standalone 501 C three, no longer straight and state funded. And we expanded our scope to include other topics that are relevant in what we call blue economy, including offshore wind, and then other technologies that might be relevant to reduce carbon from the atmosphere, such as marine CDR, marine carbon dioxide removal technologies, ocean observation, technologies, aquaculture, etc. But the vast majority of our work is on the marine hydrokinetic side marine energy and offshore wind. So yeah, that's, that's where we are today is is nonprofit. All right,

Sean McMahon  04:23

All right, and what are some of the latest trends or, you know, exciting initiatives you're seeing and some of those individual spaces?

Jason Busch  04:29

Well, let's sort of break down the middle and talk about marine renewable energy, wave tidal ocean currents, and then we'll talk about offshore wind. So marine technology such as wave energy machines, tidal machines are still largely pre commercial. They're the very first tidal projects are going in the water around the world. Think that technology is a little bit more advanced in the wave energy in general, it's based upon a sort of tried and true three bladed turbine that you know, something we've been developing or building for many years. That's not the only way to do tidal. But that's an example of why that technology is moving. And perhaps more quickly than, say, wave energy that around the world, you now have what are essentially full scale machines that can produce clean energy from, from the ocean, pretty exciting to see that sector come together because the potential is enormous. So here in the United States over the last few years, what we've seen is a bit of a transition that was spurred by the publication of a document called powering the blue economy, which the Department of Energy's water power Technologies Office, funded and was largely drafted by his national labs Pacific Northwest National Labs and in rail National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and then identified this array of other sectors that are not necessarily utility scale, energy related, but that can nevertheless use these technologies today or soon. And that some of those I mentioned earlier, the blue economy has become very relevant recently, we talk about aquaculture or powering machines that are deployed in the ocean for ocean observation purposes. But instead of putting a battery in there and having to go out and retrieve the thing, and we even let it sink to the bottom of the ocean, at the end of its useful life, they can come back to a docking station that's powered by a wave energy machine or a tidal device, for example. So these are very promising new things for the future. Clearly, the Department of Defense sort of strategic purposes are interesting. And that's what driven a lot of interest in the blue economy over the last few years. And we're seeing that manifested in a program we call Teymur. It's a DOD funded program that POET administers. And it's a research and development program that allows us to get a number of companies funded to go into research facilities around the country, and develop or continue to develop the specific aspects of their machine without having to go through the traditional DoD process of a foe, a funding opportunity announcement, which from beginning to end is this enormous, multi layered, you know, years and process. So now we can get out, say 1520, small contracts every cycle, which happens every three months. And so we're seeing a lot of evidence there and the blue economy, clearly companies are responding. And I think it's an exciting future for the Marine hydrokinetic sector. And I think it also represents an important stepping stone as these companies build machines that are operating in the ocean environment. And they're gaining experience, they're starting to develop cash flow, and they're going to learn from this and and scale up these technologies so that eventually they will grow into being viable, full scale energy, utility scale energy machines. So that's the marine hedge kinetic side of the house, you want to shift offshore wind. 

Sean McMahon  07:51

Yeah, sure. What do you guys all working on in that space?

Jason Busch  07:54

Well, there's a lot going on there. And it's on the on the West Coast is relatively new. Clearly, your listeners will probably be familiar with what's happening on the east coast. A lot happening with the bottom mounted offshore wind on the East Coast, as as in Europe, where there's already about 6000 turbines that have been deployed and you know, 20 years into that effort, the United States is catching up quickly. on the East Coast, it's indicated by the our 3032 separate projects that are in some stage of development there. But on the West Coast, we have a steep assymetry. So bottom mount of technologies aren't going to work for us. And that's why we're looking at floating technologies. And that gives us the ability to put extremely the wind the largest wind turbines, which are now pushing 15 megawatts, onto floating platforms or other floating mechanisms, and put these machines out in distances that help eliminate some of the conflicts of certainly around view shed in the near shore ocean and coastal environment. In Oregon, for example, we're looking at deployment of of floating technology, floating wind technologies out 20 miles and beyond. And that is pretty exciting. The wind resources enormous to high quality resource, and the machines are continuing to get bigger and bigger, and that's a good thing. They their performance goes up, the cut in speed goes down, the cut out speed goes up. And that allows the overall efficiency of the machine support, so called capacity factor of the machine to continue to go up. And we're seeing are expecting to see capacity factors in the 50 to 60% range here on the West Coast, especially in the area. They're in Northern California and Southern Oregon. And this makes it a very viable, promising and valuable energy resource here on the west coast where we are in need of welders to say a lot new generation over the next couple of decades.

Sean McMahon  09:48

You don't say you don't say it seems like we got you know, grid concerns up and down the coast right about now. So I want to circle back to you talk about that, you know, the wave and tidal stuff and it seems like there's some testing facilities there's one off the coast of Oregon here packaway You've walked me through what those are and kind of how that helps kind of spur all these, you know, smaller entities can kind of get their technologies going rather than going out there on their own.

Jason Busch  10:08

Sure. Well, you mentioned PacWave. And PcWave is a testing site, a pre permitted testing site, located off Newport, Oregon, about five, six miles offshore. And pathway will be the nation's first grid connected, open ocean testing site, in other words is subject to the full brunt of the Pacific Ocean. There is already a wonderful facility down in Hawaii called WETS - Wave Energy Testing Site. But it's, you know, it's it's a much milder climate down there. And it's a great place for companies to deploy their machines in the early days. But ultimately, you have to subject it to the real thing. And that's what PacWavw does. 

Sean McMahon  10:50

Are you suggesting that the climate in Hawaii is better than Oregon?

Jason Busch  10:53

Certainly certain times of the year, yes, indeed, indeed. But so, so PacWave is very promising, we're going to have four cables that will be going out to this site, actually five, but four are going to be five megawatts, each will have 20 megawatts of capacity. So you can have four different types of machines out there. And at each birth, you can have an array of machines, for a total of 20 megawatts coming to shore. And this is a very promising facility that has been many years and development. It's owned and operated by Oregon State University, with a great deal of support from the Department of Energy, and from the Water Power Technologies Office, in particular, has made that facility possible. And I know they've made a lot of progress on that in the last few years. I think they're at the point now starting to procure cables to actually connect everything and the conduits have been installed. And this will be a great opportunity to see modern wave energy machines that will be able to get in there without going through a normal permitting process, because that's already been done. It's a multi year six, seven year process. And that opens the door to let the companies focus on just getting machines built and deployed and operated. And we've already dealt with that permitting aspect. So very promising. We'd love to see that. Come online here in the next couple of years. And hopefully, in fact, I know there are already. Some DOE FOAs or funding opportunity announcements that have been made available to companies to build and deploy at pathways. So clearly, they're kind of building up a pipeline of projects or technologies that we'll be able to deploy and take advantage of PacWave when it's up and running in say late 2023, or 2024.


We'll be right back.

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Sean McMahon  13:17

And now, back to my conversation with Jason Busch, the executive director from the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust. All right, and then you mentioned earlier offshore wind, you know, obviously the Biden administration has been pretty active and and, you know, trying to build out that source. I think the goal is to have you know, 30 gigs by 2030. How do you see that taken shape? You think we're gonna get there? How many gigawatts you think we're gonna have off the west coast? You know, what's your overall take on that?

Jason Busch  13:41

Well, I would have to say that my confidence level has gone up several notches over here in the last few months. I'm on the board of Offshore Wind California, OWC. So I'm active in California, a lovely vantage point there to watch that state tackle this opportunity and the challenges that are associated with it. And I'm pleased to say that California I think has even exceeded our expectations, recently adopting some numbers that indicate that the state is taking this very seriously and is looking at the sort of the higher scale of development. So for example, the CEC California Energy Commission selected five gigawatts up to five gigawatts by 2030. And 25 gigawatts by 2045 as planning goals for the state, and now that puts all the state agencies and relevant participants on a pathway of trying to find ocean space accommodate this level of development, which is no small challenge to say the least. And of course, there are a host of other important challenges around transmission may be first and foremost, establishing a stable market there ensuring that there is in fact support or demand for this this resource and supply chain and build up support infrastructure, workforce development, so you know, some good problems to have but some serious As challenges that will take several years to play out, as certainly there's some element of building and they will come, I think the private sector can be very good when they see that opportunity and you reduce the risk and increase or decrease the uncertainty of of the market in California, I think you'll see the companies investing in the kind of infrastructure that we'll make the sector viable. I should mention that in California, we expect to have leases announced or auctions for those leases in the next few months before the end of this year. And that that is the expectation Bolin Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has made this clear. And that's very exciting, because that's when it gets very real companies will compete and win these leases. And of course, that really starts the clock on this because then they get into the five, seven year process of permitting those projects, and ultimately getting them built. So no steel in the water before you know 2030 Give or take. But clearly, as we saw on the East Coast, once those processes start, there's generally pretty high level of certainty that all due effort will be made to make it happen. Of course, there will be there will be lawsuits sort of factor that into our timing and thinking about this, especially as the first projects on the West Coast, just as we saw on the east coast. So shifting up to Oregon, where I live, the process is about a year behind California, we have identified and we call call areas. These are the initial areas that Boehm has identified as being best for offshore wind, reflecting a number of different factors, including the quality of the wind resource and sort of general viability of development in that area, shore side resources. And of course, avoiding impacts on the ocean and ocean users is as best as possible. So we have a couple of areas in Oregon went off of Coos Bay went off of Brookings right on the border with California. And the call for information and nominations closed here about a month or so ago. And over the next few months, Boehm will process those comments and they'll come back with what they consider to be the final final areas, they'll start calling them when energy areas at that point W E A's. And those W E A's will then be subdivided into auction blocks. And those will be configured as to maximize production, promote safety, and Mariners and transit routes avoiding impacts all the base important elements to designing one of these facilities. And we hope to see leases for for Oregon and late 2023 Or maybe an early 2024.

Sean McMahon  17:41

All right, and then what's it looking like for Washington, 

Jason Busch  17:44

Washington is just now starting to dive in on offshore when there was a what's called an unsolicited proposal, that simply means that a company has proposed a project before Boeing has gotten through its planning process. And that's off Grays Harbor that has triggered State of Washington's consideration of this opportunity if you like, and the wind resource in Washington is still good, it's still commercially viable. It's just not as good as that area in Northern California, Southern Oregon, and we sort of collectively call the Del Norte area, that's where you have pushed 11 meters per second wind resource. This is where you just get the highest possible Win Win quality project. And, of course, that's where the economics of the project make the most sense, especially early in the process here. Meanwhile, Washington that you know, they've got adequate wind resource. And having participated in some ongoing conversations up there. And how that state wants to engage is clear. They're they're being very proactive about it. And they've already convened a group of state leadership to talk about how the state wants to move forward with offshore wind. And I can tell you, for sure, they're definitely looking at the supply chain component of this Port of Seattle. clearly interested in the sector. And I think that even though it is, you know, fair distance from maybe the heart of the wind resource there on the Northern California, Southern Oregon border, the port has significant infrastructure capabilities in a way that we don't have in Oregon, or even in California, where we're looking at far smaller ports, like humbled and Coos Bay, that will need to gear up in a big way to be able to support this sector. And I think Port of Seattle is eyeing that opportunity and rightly so.

Sean McMahon  19:33

Okay, we'll follow up on one thing real quick. So you mentioned earlier the, you know, ocean based carbon resolution technology. So what are those? What are those? What are those? 

Jason Busch  19:41

Well, there's a suite of ways that we can pull carbon out of the air. Some of those technologies are just simply a form of a scrubber, its uses as a chemical reaction to pull carbon directly out of the air. You can do that of course it has to be powered, and it would have to be powered from a renewable source partner that technology with wave energy or offshore wind. And then there are a number of column biological processes that can be used to sequester carbon. And you know, some of these are are as straightforward as seeding the ocean with more seagrass mazing. Ly simple, yet highly effective means to capture carbon and pull it out of the ocean environment. So, you know, we see an obvious opportunity there, we're just focused on the technology side. But at the end of the day, it may not be a technological solution, it may be smarter approaches to basically hit the marine base form of reforestation, which is another area of carbon sequestration as equally as important and happening on the terrestrial front. But it's an emerging sector of technologies that are not yet commercial. But there is at least over the last three, four years, you've seen some significant focus by some of our national agencies and National Science Foundation, for example, has convened a wonderful group to look at this technology and began to put out some reports that describe the status. And I encourage you and your listeners to look into that, I think it's, it's the other half of the corn of carbon, yes, you have to reduce carbon emissions, but we already have too much carbon in the air as it is. So it's not enough just to slow our missions, we've got to figure out thoughtful ways to pull it out of the air. And as you were probably well aware, the oceans already function as a carbon bank, the oceans have already saved us from greater climatic changes, because it is sequestering a great deal of carbon. But of course, downside there's, obviously, ocean acidification. And there is the reality that as we do reduce emissions and carbon concentrations in the atmosphere, the oceans are simply going to release their banks of carbon. So we got to be thoughtful about that as well.

Sean McMahon  21:58

Okay, we've been talking about all the promise of all these, you know, offshore energy capabilities, anything that might stand in the way of the progress?

Jason Busch  22:04

Well, certainly a number of things we've already mentioned, the sort of practical issues of transmission, you got to get the generation to load, Port infrastructure, workforce development, etc. But, you know, it's also, people need to keep in mind that when we talk about ocean energy development, offshore wind development, we are talking about ocean space, and the oceans are still busy places. And they're used for a lot of different uses, including marine transit, and of course, commercial fishing. So even though we're going out, you know, 20 miles, 2030 miles, sure, somebody fishes there. And so as we develop this resource, we have to recognize that somebody somewhere is going to going to be impacted by this, they're not going to get to fish where they want to fish, and have sterically been able to fish wherever they wanted to. And so we have to be thoughtful about that, we are going to affect these folks. And that's why there's been a lot of focus at the bone level Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the leases that are being led, which are essentially essentially the contract for allowing this project to move forward. Like, how are you going to provide for the fact that we are going to be impacting someone who has historically used that area? And you know, there's a variety of ways to deal with this. First of all, we need to design the facilities as best we can to minimize that impact. But it's never going to be zero, right? It's just the reality of the situation. You can't build a highway or a church without impacting somebody. So just the reality of energy development, then the second approach is to mitigate those impacts. In other words, how do we compensate, say, commercial fishing fleet that historically uses a particular area. And that's where the Boeing bomb has been very proactive on this, as well as the in the offshore wind industry, which we recognize that we are going to have these impacts. And we need to come up and be very transparent about coming up with ways to compensate for those impacts. And that has increasingly become an accepted part of the Boehm lease. You know, luckily, at the end of the day, the upside of offshore wind and versus the impacts is, it's kind of a pretty clear Delta there, we're talking about 10s of billions of dollars of economic development to do offshore wind projects, you know, a gigawatt project is somewhere between three and $5 billion. And it's going to be operating for 2030 years. We've already seen from Europe and the East Coast, what these numbers look like and the number of jobs that are going to be created. So we're talking about just thinking about Oregon, for example, if we develop to say, three to five gigawatts of projects over the next couple of decades, we're talking about 10s of billions of dollars flowing through the Oregon economy. And yes, we're going to have an impact on some folks. So let's make sure that we address that upfront transparently and provide a mechanism to help make them whole while recognizing that ought to. And sometimes we have to make tough decisions. And it would be wonderful if we could just come up with this new magic energy source that is magically has no environmental impacts and no impacts on anybody anywhere. Unfortunately, that doesn't exist. And that does raise the other major topic, which is environmental impacts. I'm pleased to say that this is an area that is an organization and individually I've watched for almost 1314 years, you often hear that folks say, well, we don't know what this is going to do. The reality is, we actually have a pretty solid idea of what it's going to do, because it's already doing it. Again, 6000 terminals in the water in Europe, 1000s of miles of cables in the water. And while we have different species and different ecosystems, in the sense, the way these things function is, is common. So we have been studying this for a great deal of time. And we actually started with marine hydrokinetic, the cables, the anchors, the acoustics, the various pieces that are common across both marine hydrokinetic as well as offshore wind. The difference with offshore wind is that you have the bird issue centrally, which we're well aware that, you know, spinning blades and birds don't get along. So there's a great deal of effort looking into how to minimize those impacts. And there's made a lot of progress from the first days of wind development, we've come a long way to reduce those impacts, it's never going to be zero. It's always unfortunate, but a lot of efforts being put in to better understanding this and minimizing those impacts. So certainly some significant challenges. I think it requires leadership, bold leadership to pick this issue up. It's a significant opportunity, and it represents significant challenges and what I think we we do ourselves a disservice as a state as people not treating this as in an open public transparent forum where we can discuss these topics openly, sort of dispense with a hyperbole, get to the reality of the impacts and the issues and fix them and move forward and address climate. Okay, now,

Sean McMahon  27:00

I want to just shift gears a bit. You know, we've got the big conference coming up here starting in a couple days, the ocean energy week right here in Portland. So what can you tell me about that? I know POETs, you know, obviously helping put it on. So anything you're looking forward to, in particular from all the activities that week?

Jason Busch  27:14

Sure, well, so our OREC, Ocean Renewable Energy Conference, now in its 15th year, and it's a very popular event with the marine hydrokinetic sector. We've been hosting it in Oregon since the beginning. This year is in Portland. It's going to be the 14th and 15th of September. This is looking this is promising to be our best event yet are partnering with a couple of other events, I guess. One is called METS and the other is UMERC marine energy research coordinating program that is a program that POET administers on behalf of Department of Energy. So between METS and UMERC and OREC, we sort of combined all this and it's promising to be our biggest event yet. So oh rec routinely attracts participants from a wide range of sectors, including the industry, technology development, project developers from Department of Energy and the national labs, university researchers. We have a wonderful contingent coming over from Europe this year, I think it was 11 or 12 members of that group called European leaders and blue economy or blue energy, that the whole event goes for three days. So we're looking forward to it. We got a lot of exciting things happening and they're I think they're around 65 as part of the UMERC and METS presentations, we have 65 oral presentations and 40 poster sessions representing universities and labs from across the United States. I know that we receive a lot more abstract than we anticipated, which shows a lot of interest and and that's wonderful. UMERC is a new program that is administered by POET and its intent there is to provide a platform to facilitate discussion and knowledge transfer and collaboration between universities and and industries and national labs. So UMERC is just kind of getting set up. And this is our first major event. Pretty excited about that especially to co locate with with Marine Energy Technology Symposium’s annual event. So we're looking around 250 people I think are registered at this point. And it looks like the numbers are still going up. So we have a couple of weeks before the actual event. And we even got Senator Merkley. He's going to send us a video this year. I guess he's got other things going on to keep him busy in DC. We're excited to feature Senator Merkley his comment supporting marine energy so it's looking pretty good.

Sean McMahon  29:35

Cool any I was digging through the agenda and the panels or presentations that caught your eye as being you know, oh, yeah, they're high tech or futuristic.

Jason Busch  29:44

You know, some of some of all the Yes, pretty excited about several weeks. I think one of the things here that is important is a newer angle for us as part of the you mark event on Wednesday is something called the community driven marine energy design. and analysis panel, which is I think reflects a growing emphasis in the federal government and certainly in states and and organizations around the country around community driven efforts, instead of this sort of top down imposition, is how do you get communities to see the value of local generation of owning some of that generation perhaps, or at least having a say in how it develops. And that's an important piece. I think that in the future as we transition from large, centralized fossil fuel based infrastructure that was located generally without regard to local community input, in fact, often in opposition, the future we hope will be more community driven. So we've got this wonderful panel that's been moderated by Dr. Shayna Hirsch, from University of Washington, with a couple of PhD students and several community members from from Washington from tribal communities, and Alaska should have said. So that's that's pretty exciting panel. Looking forward to that. If the you mark event, I know that one of our favorite panels is the opening panel for OREC proper is where we take a deep dive into the energy sector in the northwest and what's what's driving the energy markets here in the Northwest. So we've got our own Shannon Souza, who is going to chair that and bring several key individuals and like Mark Thompson, Commissioner of Public Utility Commission, and Adam Schultz from Oregon Department of Energy, and Travis Deville, from Pacific Northwest National Lab, the US Department of Energy to talk about what the lay of the land here is in the West, and where are we going? What's going to be the role of marine energy in the future. A key piece of that sort of moving down the list of some of the exciting panels is the ocean based climate solutions. Near and dear to my heart, we've asked a Simon gear loss from Pacific Northwest National Labs to bring some folks together to talk about that, you know, I think as we as a nation as as as, as a world begin to actually address climate more aggressively recognizing that imperative, it's exciting to see some of the cutting edge ideas that are out there, we all see the low hanging fruit replacing coal plants. But once you get beyond that we what are we doing. And that's where some of the new cutting edge technologies are exciting whether we're talking about. So I mentioned earlier, marine carbon dioxide removal technologies. The new one, and I think is a lot of people's radar is hydrogen, clearly an important part of the energy agenda in the United States and clearly around the world where we're seeing the synergy between large scale ocean energy development, offshore wind projects, in particular, paired with hydrogen production, as we look to hydrogen to fill important gaps on energy system, especially you look to Europe today, and some of the issues that are being highlighted to the unfortunate Ukrainian Russian situation, making these energy issues much more critical and timely. And if there is an upside to that conflict, it is that it may push Europe more quickly toward addressing some of these issues. So I think the hydrogen piece will be very interesting, as part of that conversation. So yeah, that's a short list of some of the things we will be looking at in that conference.

Sean McMahon  33:20

Sounds great, I'm going to be there myself. So I'm looking forward to learning quite a lot. And it sounds like a lot of smart people coming together. And I'm usually the dumbest guy in the room. So that'll definitely be the case, this time out there. 

Jason Busch  33:30

But you will be in a room with a lot of folks who have been leaning into this topic for a long time. So this is the place for the national leadership to come together as they do every year and pretty excited, obviously post COVID chance to bring people together, it's very popular event across the board. People love coming to Portland, especially this time of the year, this is a lovely time to be in Oregon. And so people really enjoy coming to the event. And you get to see a lot of folks that we quite honestly haven't seen in person for way too long. So we're all excited and looking forward to a great event.

Sean McMahon  34:05

Great. You know, one thing I'd like to do on the show is I asked guests for their bold predictions, right? And this can be anything, there's any kind of you no dream you have about the role that you know, some of these energy technologies will play in our future or, you know, even just a yes, no bet on whether you know, some goal for renewable energy will be hit any bold predictions you see out there. And when you when you think of the next, you know, five or 10 years of our future.

Jason Busch  34:30

Well, first of all, I think that's a good question. I do have a thought on this. You know, I run a nonprofit that's focused on ocean based climate solutions. So I'm motivated to address climate, which I think is the issue, the defining issue of our age. And obviously, it's been a frustrating path for those of us who live and work in this world over the last couple of decades. And so it's sometimes tough, especially looking at the inactivity or inaction, especially the United States over the last couple of decades. And it's frustrating to say the least. And it's easy to get maybe pessimistic about our future. I do think there's reason to be concerned, I think we are going to suffer because of our inactivity. But it's clear that there is a wonderful coming together of people who have made this their life's work. And we're seeing the results of that now, the technologies and answering the tough questions. We are making progress, there is a pathway forward, it is going to be an uphill battle. But at least we can take heart in the fact that we know we have the ability to address it. So pleased, pleased to be a part of that community. To a certain extent, I'm no scientist. But you know, that's where the solutions are coming from science. They're answering the tough questions, I see a pathway forward. It all depends on how committed we can remain as a nation. It also shows the importance of politics in our nation, because we saw a very, very big difference between the last administration, this current administration and how we're addressing renewable energy development in this country. It makes a difference, but I remain positive.

Sean McMahon  36:10

I gotcha. Jason, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate you kind of sharing all your insights with our listeners, and I look forward to seeing you at the conference. 

Jason Busch  36:18

I look forward to seeing you Sean, thank you so much for the opportunity today.

Sean McMahon  36:23

That's our show for today. But before we get out of here, I want to say one final thank you to our sponsor, abs quality evaluations. If you liked this podcast, please share it with your friends and colleagues. And be sure to follow us on Apple, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow us on Twitter, where our handle is @RenewablesPod. And if you'd like a daily dose of renewable news delivered to your inbox, head to and sign up for the Renewable Energy SmartBrief. The Renewable Energy SmartPod is a production of SmartBrief -  a Future company.


The work of the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust (POET)
Trends in Wave and Tidal Energy Technologies
The Offshore Wind Outlook
Ocean Energy Testing Facilities like PacWave
The Biden Administration's Goal of 30GW of Offshore Wind by 2030
Ocean-Based Carbon Dioxide Removal Technologies
Biggest Challenges the Blue Economy is Facing
A Look Ahead to Ocean Energy Week 2022
Jason's Bold Predictions