Wednesday, October 15, 2008

2nd International Conference on Ocean Energy Meets In France; OTEC in Technology Review

Many leading marine renewable energy experts have gathered this week for three days of presentations and discussion on just about all the potential energy sources from the sea. The ocean energy conference opened today in Brest, France.

The ICOE has attracted “the ocean energy stakeholders: producers, engineers and scientists, sea users, energy politicians and planners….” Among them is Dr. Gerard Nihous of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii, and we hope he’ll share his reactions to the conference with the media and possibly a University presentation of some kind. Also attending is Ted Johnson of Lockheed Martin. He’s a frequent visitor to Hawaii as he pursues his company’s ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) interests here.

Since we’re writing an OTEC-centric blog, we were drawn to the conference sessions on that technology – “Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC): Principle, Problems and Prospects”; “Impacts Study of OTEC Seawater Effluent Discharge”, and “Are there enough skilled personnel within ocean energy?”

That last topic touches a nerve in a positive way. Hawaii for decades struggled to find an economic engine beyond tourism. OTEC and the other renewable energy technologies could well be that new industry, offering not just jobs but careers for Hawaii’s young people.

What an exciting vocation that would be -- participating in cutting-edge work to harness energy from Hawaii’s natural resources. As we’ve written at our sister blog, Honolulu’s grade separated transit system one day will run on ocean power, solar power, sea power and all the other renewables.

If you’re a young person in search of a tech-oriented career, that’s a pretty good vision to keep in front of you.

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