Ocean energy can help tropical island nations reduce long-term energy costs, generate employment, reduce trade imbalances from fuel imports and face the challenges arising from climate change. But Global OTEC isn’t just about bringing affordable clean energy to island nations. As the seawater is processed, it can produce other useful by-products, such as freshwater, lithium and hydrogen. The process can also upwell plankton for more productive fisheries and cool the seawater to prevent the further disappearance of pelagic fish in our warming climate.

Global OTEC is working to meet six of the UN’s
Sustainable Development Goals in particular:

Goal 5: Gender equality

Global OTEC is working to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by:

  • Collaborating with organisations to help stakeholders better understand the risks posed to gender equality and social inclusion and find ways of mitigating them
  • Speaking with women, children, disabled and impoverished people directly to understand their concerns, address their questions and make sure they feel included and able to participate in projects
  • Providing affordable, reliable renewable energy, which will allow households to carry out daily tasks more efficiently and free up time for more women – who typically run households full-time – to find work
  • Attracting eco-minded investors to boost the tourism industry, which will help more women find work with pay parity (global statistics show the majority of the tourism industry’s workforce is female and the gender pay gap is smaller than many other sectors)

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Global OTEC will provide access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by:

  • Helping policymakers understand how to increase their renewable energy mix without clearing land or jeopardising biodiversity
  • Providing a solution for baseload power
  • Helping developing countries transition to renewable energy and break their dependency on fossil fuel imports
  • Raising awareness of ocean-based renewable energy sources
  • Offsetting approximately 134,000 tCO2e with each 1 MW of installed OTEC capacity

Goal 8: Decent work and
economic growth

Global OTEC will promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all by:

  • Training and using local staff where possible and appropriate
  • Improving energy systems’ efficiency and security, benefitting businesses and the economy
  • Creating a more reliable energy supply and reducing the frequency of blackouts, which will benefit schools, hospitals and other public services
  • Using a by-product of OTEC to improve yields of fisheries, such as shrimp, scallops and other high-value seafood, and benefit workers in the fisheries sector
  • Cutting the level of diesel imports, reducing the trade deficit and foreign exchange shortages
  • Boosting tropical countries’ tourism sector by attracting eco-minded investors
  • Developing the blue economy and catalysing sustainable development
  • Inspiring citizens to appreciate the ocean
  • Helping to lift countries out of least developed country status through investments in OTEC
  • Improving the resilience of island nations by equipping them to deal with economic and environmental challenges
  • Encouraging businesses with diesel generators to return to the grid, increasing utility company revenues

Goal 9: Industry, innovation
and infrastructure

Global OTEC will build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation by:

  • Helping tropical nations pioneer a renewable energy plan suitable for small islands

  • Writing reports to evidence how Global OTEC can help a country achieve the UN’s targets for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

  • Reporting on OTEC’s impact on the environment, employment and economy

Goal 13: Climate action

Global OTEC is taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by:

  • Enabling island nations to replace diesel imports with clean ocean energy
  • Providing a technical solution, business model and policy framework for a new, effective renewable energy solution
  • Helping policymakers understand how to increase their renewable energy mix without jeopardising biodiversity or clearing land
  • Preventing deforestation and soil erosion using floating Barges which don’t require land to be cleared. This saves habitats and mitigates the impacts of climate change
  • Reducing the CO2 emissions of small tropical islands (which are already incredibly low compared to the USA, Europe or China)
  • Empowering developing countries to focus on innovative climate resiliency projects
  • Enabling governments to focus on improving the reach and efficiency of the grid
  • Helping to phase out biomass cooking stoves

Goal 14: Life below water

Global OTEC is conserving and sustainably using the ocean, seas and marine resources for sustainable development by:

  • Working with universities to study the environmental and societal impact of OTEC
  • Creating a policy framework for ocean energy
  • Increasing knowledge on how to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems from pollution
  • Helping SIDS face the impacts of climate change, such as a reduction in freshwater, the reduction of fish catch due to warming ocean and coral bleaching
  • Increasing economic benefits from the sustainable use of marine resources