Renewable Energy Research
The Office of Renewable Energy Programs (OREP) oversees development of offshore renewable energy projects on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). This new activity in the marine environment requires an assessment of the potential environmental impacts to resources on the OCS. The Bureau’s responsibilities include determining and evaluating the effects of OCS activities on natural, historical, and human resources and the appropriate monitoring and mitigating of those effects. BOEM is working through the Environmental Studies Program (ESP) to collect information to be used in this assessment. The ESP was established by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, as amended in 1978 (OCSLAA) to provide information for sound decision-making and management. BOEM is partnering with other Federal agencies including the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Department of Energy, United States Geological Survey, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to acquire the information to meet these agencies' mandates.
Additionally, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE's) Technology Assessment Programs (TAP) provides a research element encompassed by the BSEE Regulatory Program. TAP supports research associated with operational safety and pollution prevention. TAP (formerly known as Technology Assessment and Research (TA&R)) Program was established in the 1970s to ensure that industry operations on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) incorporated the use of the Best Available and Safest Technologies (BAST) subsequently required through the 1978 OCSLA amendments and Energy Policy Act of 2005. The TAP studies related to renewable energy and alternate use are also available online.