That said, here’s what we’ve heard within the past 48 hours:
Five years to build a plant, then five years of data gathering could effectively scare off investors unwilling to sit in a waiting game before OTEC could be meaningfully rolled out in Hawaii or anywhere else to counter our oil dependence.
“OTEC is on a scale so much larger than anything we’ve dealt with before,” a visiting NOAA official said last month. That seems like a tell-tale insight into the problem – if there indeed is a problem as was related to us.
When the NOAA slow-down was mentioned to an in-the-know official, he responded: “I have heard a bit about NOAA being potentially a barrier, but nothing substantial.“
Whether substantial or not, the issue of NOAA’s potentially go-slow stance has been suggegsted, so we raise it here. The issue is potentially too serious to let lie, so the question needs asking:
Is NOAA going to be an impediment to OTEC development due to an overly conservative regulatory environment? And if that’s the case, what can be done about it?
January 6 Update: Dr. Luis Vega comments on this post.