Thursday, April 10, 2008

Worlds Apart yet on Same Path to Get Us All Off Oil

As noted a few days ago, our new blog is attracting visitors from around the world (although 87 percent are in the US), and the hits from afar are continuing. Today we feature two men who are working to reduce the planet’s dependence on fossil fuel – one in India and the other a German expat working in Michigan.

Professor S. Ramachandran, Vice Chancellor of Madras University, believes ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) “is going to be the major source of energy” in southern India in 10 years. Chennai Online has an in-depth interview with this ocean science visionary.

Half a world away in Detroit, Michigan, Frank “Mr. Volt” Weber heads the General Motors team that’s developing the Volt electric vehicle, which will hit the showrooms in 2010. interviewed this Wiesbaden native who refuses “to tread on worn out paths.”

OTEC -- Meet the Volt

Electricity generated on the ocean will be powering vehicles on our roads once the right combination of policy makers, regulators, investors, developers and utility executives comes together.

Where will that marriage first happen? If we use the medical triage model, which prioritizes treatment for patients according to the severity of their condition, Hawaii surely will be the place. The state’s crippling dependence on fuel oil for electricity generation puts us in the “critical” category and not far from “on life support” if the price of oil continues at current levels or increases.

If they haven’t met already, Professor Ramachandran and Mr. Weber may one day have the pleasure when OTEC and the Volt are united in a perfect energy union. You can almost hear Elvis singing "This is the moment..." above the rhythmic crashing of the surf.

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