Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
University of Hawaii
TOKYO UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE
THERE WAS THE DESPAIR OF THE 70’S
• Energy Crises (1973 and 1979)
• Limits to Growth (Dennis and
• Population Bomb (Paul Ehrlich)
• Silent Spring (Rachel Carson)
• Acid Rain
• Cold War…
• There was no notion of
– Peak Oil
– Nor Global Warming
– renewable systems
were experimental first
WORLD ENERGY CONSUMPTION TODAY
• All solar, wind and ocean = 1%
• According to most projections over the past quarter century, Peak Oil was attained last year.
• Fastest growing energy
source over the past
decade = COAL
• If Global Warming is
real and serious, we might be doomed.
THE VENUS SYNDROME
• Planet Venus has an atmosphere mostly of carbon dioxide, where the surface pressure is 92 times higher and at a temperature of 860 degrees F.
• There is more (twice the amount?) energy in marine methane hydrates (MMH) than all the known coal, oil and natural gas deposits.
• Greenhouse Effect: a molecule of methane is 25 times worse than one of carbon dioxide.
• If this MMH cataclysmically gets to the surface, much of life on Earth could expire, as has happened several times in our geological history.
• This is the VENUS SYNDROME.
ENERGY IS JAPAN’S BIGGEST PROBLEM
• Peak Oil, Global Warming and the looming carbon tax make expansion into more fossil fuels unwise.
• There seems to be a
growing consensus to
abandon nuclear energy.
• Japan has less than adequate wind, solar and biomass potential.
• Geothermal expansion is possible, but only minimally.
EXOTIC CONCEPTS ARE NOT TODAY REALISTIC
• Japan is spearheading the effort of a solar powerplant in space, but this will cost $21 billion only to produce 1/4 the electricity of a typical nuclear reactor.
• You are the most advanced nation in tapping MMH…but the economics look improbable.
• Hot dry rock technology is far in the future, if ever.
• You are the materials lead for fusion, but commercialization is probably 50 years away, if then.
THE OPEN OCEAN IS JAPAN’S ONLY OPTION
• You were once #1 in shipbuilding, but were overtaken by South Korea in 2004, which will soon lose this leadership to China by 2015.
• However, the basic
to build large floating
WHAT SPECIFICALLY CAN JAPAN DO?
• You can initiate the Blue Revolution.
The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority at Keahole Pt., Hawaii
VALUE OF DEEP OCEAN WATER (1000 meters)
• Cold (4 to 6 degrees C)
• Relatively pathogen free
• Redfield ratio at high nutrient concentration
– 200 times higher in nitrates
– 20 times higher in phosphates
THE BLUE REVOLUTION
• Electricity, freshwater, space conditioning and hydrogen
• Marine biomass plantations for biofuels and green materials
• Next generation fisheries
• Industrial platforms
• Marine cities
• Given the ocean, sunlight and genetic engineering of microbes, how can hydrogen best be produced.
• I chaired three one week workshops in the 1987 to 1990 period, where about 100 of the top bioscientists from the world over came to Hawaii to discuss how best to ultimately utilize the ocean to produce hydrogen.
• Blue Revolution Hawaii has initiated the Pacific International Ocean Station initiative.
JAPAN-HAWAII COOPERATIVE PROGRAM
• Workshop to better define joint efforts on ocean thermal energy conversion will occur at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii on September 11 and 12.
• Okinawa and Hawaii are analogs:
– Detached from mainland
– Both have 1.3 million people
– Tourism is an important industry
– Locations are ideal for ocean resource development
IMAGINE JAPAN OF 2050
• No nuclear powerplants.
• Wind and solar farms.• Electricity from the earth.
• Leading shipbuilding country.
• Renewable biofuels from macroalgae.
• Next generation fisheries
• Hydrogen from floating platforms.
• Hydrogen powered aircraft.
• Array of floating cities and industrial parks.
THIS CAN ALL BE POSSIBLE IF YOU START NOW!
In the Gulf of Mexico, as expected Tropical Storm Lee at 60 MPH is moving very slowly and dumping rain over Louisiana, while Hurricane Katia at 75 MPH continues to move towards North Carolina and will strengthen into a Category 2 storm early next week. In the West Pacific, Tropical Storm Talas rolled over Shikoku Island and is moving north into the Japan Sea.