Wednesday, April 30, 2008

OTEC Getting More Attention, Still Shooting for #1

We missed it the first time around. The headline treatment of Governor Linda Lingle’s recent speech – Governor paints positive picture for Hawaii’s economy – didn’t encourage reading all the way to the end. But thanks to a tip, that’s where we found this nugget:

"We have an incredible opportunity for energy transformation, with abundant, diverse renewable resources that rival any place on Earth. From solar and photovoltaic, to wind, to geothermal, to wave, to ocean thermal energy conversion, to biofuel – the possibilities are vast."

At least OTEC made the list, which often isn’t the case when government officials and editorial writers focus on alternate energy (although the Governor is better than most). But her speechwriters still relegate OTEC near the end of the list, when in fact, its potential to get Hawaii off oil far surpasses the other renewable alternatives.

Solar, wind and (perhaps) wave technologies are intermittent sources. Geothermal energy’s development has been limited in Hawaii for environmental and religious reasons, and just today, scientists are urging the halt of food-based biofuels because of their contribution to a “world food crisis.”

OTEC’s potential to replace imported fuel oil for electricity generation and gasoline for transportation is virtually limitless. We look forward to finding OTEC at the top of future lists – no longer an afterthought and finally recognized as Hawaii’s best candidate among renewable energy technologies to replace fossil fuel. It can’t come a day too soon.

• What's OTEC? Visit this U.S. Department of Energy site, and note that it hasn't been updated since September 2005 -- back when oil was "cheap." The economics of OTEC are now better than ever.

1 comment:

prh said...

One can only hope that T. Michael May's comments at PACON 2008 will include reference to OTEC. He has been known to give OTEC companies a warm reception and perhaps even the governor's ears will perk up at the mention of indusrtial giant Lockheed Martin's OTEC program.