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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING TO OTEC?

Pardon me, but, half of readers who daily link to this blog site are usually new, and probably haven't the faintest idea what is OTEC, which is the acronym for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, which no doubt equally means nothing, so I'll send you to the Lockheed Martin web page on their efforts.  You can watch a 2 minute 49 second clip on this technology.

The potential for OTEC is vast:


Someday, there will be 1000 MW OTEC grazing plantships in the ten degree band around the equator, for the ocean around this circumference is immune to hurricanes.

Lockheed was the first organization, to, in 1979, 35 years ago, off the coast of Keahole Point, where the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority is located, build a net-positive floating OTEC system named Mini-OTEC:


Now, Lockheed Martin is designing a 10 MW system for the Reignwood Group of Thailand and China.  Note who is standing in the middle of the signing with a model of the LM OTEC system:


If your eyesight and memory are failing, that is Secretary of State John Kerry.

If you clicked on Mini-OTEC, I think the future of this sustainable resource is the Blue Revolution, a concept utilizing all facets of this sustainable resource to produce a cornucopia of natural products in harmony with the marine environment.  In fact, there is added potential to remediate global warming and reduce/prevent the formation of  hurricanes.

More recently, Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation and the United States Virgin Islands signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a feasibility study to build a US-based commercial on-shore OTEC plant and Sea Water Air Conditioning system.  Here are Ted Johnson and Jeremy Feakins (note that the background is the same as the photo at the top of this blog), leaders at OTE Corporation when they once were interested in pursuing a project in Hawaii.  


They certainly haven't given up on something here, but opportunities in the Caribbean appear to be more promising today.  That photo above is from a posting from last year also reporting on OTEC interests in Le Reunion, Martinique and Japan.  

Here, I'm in my pontification mode with Professor Yasu Ikegami, who is now the leading OTEC advocate in Japan:


In September of last year, Professor Ikegami was in Kailua-Kona with the grand Japanese authority of OTEC, Professor Mac Takahashi, to help plan for an Okinawa-Big Island cooperative program of this technology:


Professors like us, however, need the leadership of people with financial and political clout, and at this Big Island gathering were dignitaries like Tomoyo Nonaka of Japan and Henk Rogers of Honolulu:


Kume Island of Okinawa has the only 50 kW operating OTEC power plant:


This photo is thanks to Benjamin Martin.  He also suggested another link (just click on it).

Desikan Bharathan of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and I have been for many decades now trying to interest the world in open cycle OTEC applications for island communities.  Read his latest thoughts about this subject.  Here I'm having dinner in Denver with Desikan (left) and Luis Vega of the University of Hawaii.

OTEC International has proposed two projects for Hawaii:
  • a one MW OTEC experiment at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority on the Big Island and
  • a commercial 100 MW system for Honolulu.
However, the latest silence is deafening.  Hawaii seems to be in the doldrums, also fighting off wind farms, delaying development of a statewide undersea cable grid and still arguing about geothermal energy, something we've now been doing for 40 years.

For additional international information, go to net publications like:
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3 comments:

Benjamin Martin said...

Thanks for compiling so many great links to OTEC around the world. I would appreciate it if you could link the photo of the Japan OTEC Initialization Ceremony to it's source (since I took that photo).

I think if there has been silence it is only due to the hard work of people organizing new projects and gearing up for a lot of movement in 2014. I know BlueRise, NELHA, DCNS, OTC, and us in Okinawa all have an exciting year ahead.

Benjamin Martin said...

I just saw the link above the photo. There's more info on the project at http://otecokinawa.com.

PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY said...

Dear Benjamin:

Thanks. I adjusted the posting for the proper credit.

Mahalo.

Pat