Friday, September 19, 2008

DOE Awards Millions for Ocean Energy Research; Univ. of Hawaii To Assist OTEC Commercialization

The pieces of the ocean energy puzzle continue to come together, and today’s news makes the picture even more compelling when combined with recent developments. The US Department of Energy today announced funding for what it calls “water power projects” to include $1 million a year for 5 years to the University of Hawaii, along with more than a dozen other projects according to this news item at

"National Renewable Marine Energy Center in Hawaii will facilitate the development and implementation of commercial wave energy systems and to assist the private sector in moving ocean thermal energy conversion systems beyond proof-of-concept to pre-commercialization, long-term testing."

This is good news indeed from the DOE, which has gained a reputation in the past decade (deserved or not) of not being supportive of ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC).

Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii had this reaction in today’s Honolulu Advertiser:

"Surrounded by water and dependent on imported oil, Hawaii can and should be a leader in harnessing alternative energy from the ocean."

That’s a familiar refrain showing signs of gaining widespread currency and determination in these islands.

• News Item:  At the time of this post, the per-barrel price of oil has increased more than 10 percent this week.  


Rean said...

Hey Doug...Thanks for dropping by my site. Its rare to find the OTEC kindred these days.Anyway, we in the Philippines are looking forward to an OTEC revolution ourselves. Hawaii and our country are in pretty much the same geographical situation. I'll be dropping by from time to time to check stuff. Thank again. Mabuhay!- Rean Tirol

Doug Carlson said...

Aloha, Rean. It's a pleasure to have a Climate and Energy Officer visiting Hawaii Energy Options. Hawaii and the Philippines are connected by population, culture and even the ocean that washes up on our shores, so we have a lot to share as we move closer to tapping into the world's largest solar battery, the Pacific. I look forward to reading about OTEC developments in your area; leave another comment if you would with your website to be sure I have it.

prh said...

What wonderful news and something we have all been waiting for. Hopefull this will mean the construction of Dr. Vega's 5MW precommercial OTEC plant. Successful operation of that plant could inspire confidence in HECO to adopt OTEC as a major supplier of baseload power for Hawaii. Lockheed Martin's project at NELHA might leverage development of the 1MW plant there.