S. 1821 would reauthorize a Department of Energy (DOE) program aimed at accelerating the introduction of marine energy into the U.S. energy supply and fostering the research, development, and testing of marine energy technologies. Sources of marine energy include energy from waves, tides, currents, free-flowing hydrokinetic water, and differentials in ocean temperature. The bill also would expand a DOE-sponsored grant program that provides funding to institutions of higher education for performing research, development, and testing activities at National Marine Energy Centers. For those programs, S. 1821 would authorize the appropriation of $160 million annually for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. In 2019 the Congress appropriated $70 million to research marine and hydrokinetic technologies.
Based on historical spending for similar activities, and assuming the appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing S. 1821 would cost $299 million over the 2020-2024 period and $21 million after 2024. The costs of the legislation (detailed in Table 1) would fall within budget function 270 (energy).