Friday, November 21, 2008

News about Pilot OTEC Plant Caught in Doldrums, But the OTEC Buzz Is Picking Up Around the World

NewScientist's illustration of an OTEC cycle.

We have another bottle of champagne ready to pop when more news is released about the pilot ocean thermal energy (OTEC) pilot plant slated for development here (see earlier post for the first pour).

Either coincidentally or providentially, the OTEC buzz seems to be picking up around the nation and world. The current issue of NewScientist, which went to press before Tuesday’s OTEC announcement, carries a long story on the technology’s promise and potential hurdles. A standout quote from the piece:

“This has the potential to become the biggest source of renewable energy in the world.” – Robert Cohen

We’ll leave the world to Mr. Cohen, but it parallels what we’ve been saying about OTEC’s potential in Hawaii. The tropical ocean traps prodigious amounts of solar energy each day; the quote we’ve heard is that the daily absorption is the equivalent of 250 billion barrels of oil.

OTEC also gets a look from Softpedia’s “Sci Pri” column and the Science Blog. All well and good, but we’re eagerly awaiting additional news about the Hawaii pilot plant. 

Surely Lockheed Martin and its Taiwanese partner, the Taiwan Industrial Technology Research Institute, will have something to say about this project, and soon (one would hope).

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