A poor economy might prevent near-term capital investment but it never held back a mining or energy development claim. Back in the Gold Rush, for example, difficulty in finding a job in the East might have been the impetus for a 49'er to head West, to where the action was.
Presently, uranium mine claims have been filed contiguous with the Grand Canyon; and, oil companies have been banging the political drum to obtain leases for outer continental shelf drilling, even though they have no means at hand to "drill baby drill" (all the deepwater rigs are in use elsewhere; and some are "in the shop" from hurricane damage). Claims and leases such as these are taken to the reserves 'on the books:' for later. That's the way to view the news that Grays Harbor Ocean Energy has staked several wave energy production site claims with the the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). If the filings were followed up on, billions of dollars of capital would be required, producing electricity with wind and wave energy technologies sharing, potentially, thousands of platforms, spread over several sites (see maps here). See details below.
It says all seven sites could be managed as one project by the company. The total construction cost would be $20 billion to $30 billion and net cash flow would range from $3 million to $5 million annually.Via:Providence Journal.com, Wave energy proposed off Block Island
The company says it is not proposing wind power initially, because FERC does not regulate wind power. "But wind turbines could be added to the platforms under regulation by FERC."
"All the sites are in federal waters and use the same technology package and layout, and therefore should be managed as one project at the federal level, with site-specific management at the regional level," the company says.
Image credit:Ocean Energy, Wavelator and combined wind/wave energy depiction, from demonstration project (ppt file download)