Hydrokinetic & How Government Shutdowns Can Affect Data Reporting

US DOE Water Power Technologies Office Projects Map

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has funded at least 291 marine and hydrokinetic power projects since 2008. This map shows all of them.

As of late December 2018, the map showed only a single project having been funded for the year, for $1,000, compared with dozens of awards in prior years for millions of dollars. I wrote to DOE regarding an update. The DOE program manager responded promptly:

The Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) is in the process of preparing updates to the map to reflect work awarded from FY18 funds, with updates expected to be completed in the second half of FY19.

I have no reason to believe this lag in reporting is anything out of the ordinary. Government reporting tends to seem slow, since the emphasis is on accuracy. This is especially true for worldwide and global data; collecting useful data from multiple countries is tough, as is ensuring all countries are measured by the same standards. Also, the DOE’s reporting lag predated the current government shutdown.

However…

One of the reports we published annually when I was at Clean Edge tracked cleantech jobs. During the 2013 government shutdown, the BLS stopped reporting green jobs data, prompting this disclaimer in our methodology:

Again, DOE’s FY2018 marine and hydrokinetic project funding may well be right in line with prior years. We’ll see in the second half of this year.