Ocean Energy Skunkworks: How ARPA-E is Shaping the Future Tech of the Sea

November 6, 2022

Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads.

On this episode, hosts Peter Ravella and Tyler Buckingham connect with Simon Freeman and Dan Rogers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Not strictly focused on ocean technology, ARPA-E seeks to advance high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. ARPA-E sees the tremendous potential of the ocean and coastal space to revolutionize energy solutions, and has a crack team of professionals advancing several programs that explore a wide range of technologies from the Macroalgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources (MARINER) Program, to the Aerodynamic Turbines Lighter and Afloat with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-control (ATLANTIS) Program, and many more. Come along as we explore how ARPA-E is thinking about the coast and ocean, and how the future technologies they are working to develop might someday shape our lives.

Dr. Simon Freeman serves as a Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA‑E). His focus at ARPA-E is on maritime energy and environmental sensing technologies.

Dan Rogers serves as a Tech-to-Market Advisor at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), where he focuses on transformative, high-impact marine technologies to address our society’s most pressing ocean-related energy and critical resource needs.

Show Transcription
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Peter Ravella & Tyler Buckingham

Peter and Tyler joined forces in 2015 and from the first meeting began discussing a project that would become Coastal News Today and the American Shoreline Podcast Network. At the time, Peter and Tyler were coastal consultants for Pete’s firm, PAR Consulting, LLC. In that role, they worked with coastal communities in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, engaged in grant writing, coastal project development, shoreline erosion and land use planning, permitting, and financial planning for communities undertaking big beach restoration projects. Between and among their consulting tasks, they kept talking and kept building the idea of CNT & ASPN. In almost every arena they worked, public engagement played a central role. They spent thousands of hours talking with coastal stakeholders, like business owners, hotel operators, condo managers, watermen, property owners, enviros, surfers, and fishermen. They dived deep into the value, meaning, and responsibility for the American shoreline, segment-by-segment. Common threads emerged, themes were revealed, differences uncovered. There was a big conversation going on along the American shoreline! But, no place to have it. That's where CNT and ASPN were born.