Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Burying OTEC in Bureaucracy Would Be Calamitous Mistake

Two days ago we passed on the essence of a “let’s have coffee” conversation with someone who seemed earnest, sincere and well informed about the potential for ocean thermal energy conversion to drown in NOAA’s bureaucracy.

If not an OTEC “insider,” our coffee partner appeared to be close enough to the action to know what’s going on. His assessment that OTEC’s rollout could be needlessly delayed is alarming in light of the urgent need to develop non-polluting base-load generation sources. (Our thanks go out to OTEC News for picking up our November 13 post and generating an email to its far-flung list.)

Throw the Copenhagen climate conference into the discussion and NOAA’s presumed intention to over-regulate OTEC becomes even more egregious.

We don’t editorialize much here at Hawaii Energy Options except in generalized support for renewable energy development, with special attention given to OTEC from our very first post. But in this instance, we now urge anyone and everyone with influence and interest in OTEC to do everything you can to break the potential for an NOAA logjam before it’s firmly in place.

OTEC’s presumed ability to supply people around the planet with clean energy and clean water must not be needlessly delayed by red tape. Let’s be sure no additional roadblocks are in place just when this promising technology seems ready to fulfill its promise.

January 6 Update: Dr. Luis Vega comments on this post.

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