Did you know that we can use the natural temperature difference in our tropical oceans to create electricity day and night all year round?
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) harnesses the power of the ocean to provide a continuous, cost-effective supply of clean energy. It possesses significant environmental advantages over fossil fuels and nuclear power; requires less land than renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric power; and has the potential to produce far more useful and affordable energy than could be generated from other renewable sources.
Ocean Thermal Energy Technology (OTEC) provides a baseload power source that works day and night, year-round; offering a clean alternative to diesel that can be used alongside peak load solar or wind. It works by using warm surface seawater to produce electricity:
Electricity grids use two types of power: baseload (the unchanging amount of energy needed throughout the day and night) and peak load (shorter periods when more energy is needed). Renewable energy sources like solar panels provide peak load power during the daytime when the energy from the sun can be captured. But most tropical nations require oil imports for constant baseload power the rest of the time. Because the tropical ocean is always warm whatever the weather, time of day or year, OTEC can continuously generate electricity 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The idea of creating energy from the temperature differences between the surface and deeper levels of the ocean isn’t new. In fact, the idea is over 140 years old. Decades of research and development in the lab have already been undertaken.
Global OTEC aims to transform the future of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion and believes success is possible with collaboration between the public and private sectors. The company plans to standardise as much of the OTEC platform as possible so it can be mass-produced for the widest deployment possible. Over the last five years, our team has designed a series of small floating OTEC concepts to serve small island nations. An agreement was signed with SIDS DOCK in 2021 to pilot a 1.5-megawatt barge in São Tomé and Príncipe. The success of this project will show the rest of the world how diesel fuel can be replaced with clean ocean energy and will allow Global OTEC to scale up to more and larger barges in the coming years.