- This study was commissioned by OWET to determine the possible economic benefits to Oregon and Oregon’s coastal communities from having a thriving wave energy industry. While wave energy industry growth will proceed along a continuous path, this study examines the economic impacts at three distinct stages: Research and Development Stage; Commercial Stage; Industrial Stage. The IMPLAN input-output model was used to estimate the economic impacts of the construction and operations phases for each stage. Additionally, the potential economic impacts in each stage were estimated for Oregon’s coastal economy (defined as Lincoln, Douglas, and Coos counties). We also examine economic impacts for the entire state of Oregon, as some services (e.g., engineering, legal, manufacturing) will be provided from non-coastal communities.
An additional component of this analysis describes the economic contribution of coastal fisheries to Oregon, as the fishing industry could potentially be affected by wave energy farms. We summarized the results of existing economic studies of Oregon’s fishing industry. We did not attempt to predict how wave energy could impact the coastal fishing industry, as additional research is needed to determine the type and magnitude of possible impacts. Instead, by presenting the economic impacts of the fishing industry and the wave energy industry together, we lay the groundwork and provide context for future research on this topic. In the process of developing this report, ECONorthwest reached out to a wide range of stakeholders and market actors involved with wave energy and related industries.