Survey Reveals Strong Support for Wave Energy by Oregon Coast Residents

78 percent of residents surveyed in all seven coastal counties support wave energy development along the Oregon coast due to its value as a renewable energy source.

Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET), a nonprofit public-private partnership dedicated to promoting the responsible development of ocean energy in Oregon, has released the results of a survey conducted by DHM Research that assessed Oregon coastal residents’ perceptions of ocean wave energy. The study showed strong support of ocean energy, with 78 percent of those surveyed in favor of its development.

Nine out of ten of the survey participants cited wave energy being a new source of renewable energy as the top reason for their support. Energy independence and keeping energy dollars local were also cited as strong positive factors at 86 percent and 81 percent respectively.

“Oregon coastal residents recognize the tremendous potential of harnessing the power of their backyard,” said OWET Executive Director Jason Busch. “Ocean energy is abundant, renewable, clean, and predictable, and scientists have determined that accessible ocean energy could generate more than ten percent of the nation’s energy needs. Thanks to a combination of characteristics, Oregon is uniquely positioned to build a new ocean energy economy, and we are gratified to have the support of the coastal community to do so.”

In addition to its environmental benefits, the surveyed residents also recognized the potential of the new ocean wave energy industry to create stable and sustainable family-wage jobs in their communities. 24 percent of those in support of wave energy cited this as a positive factor. Among the 11 percent of those opposed to ocean wave energy development, the top concerns cited were that it could hurt commercial fishing (37 percent) and impact scenic views (31 percent).

Noted Mr. Busch, “We share these concerns, which is why we support responsible development of wave energy in Oregon. We must work together to determine how the ocean renewable energy and fishing industries can coexist to the mutual benefit of each other and the community.”

The survey was conducted between June 28 and 30, 2012. 400 residents in Clatsop, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Lane, Lincoln, and Tillamook counties participated in the scientific phone survey. Each question has a margin of error between +/-2.9% and +/-4.9%.

OWET Coastal Resident Survey Report