IEA-OES Report: Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion
IEA-OES has released a white paper on Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) describing worldwide projects, different options to explore the thermal resource, the present status of the technology, and barriers to its development, concluding with key recommendations to move beyond small demonstration plants to pre-commercial prototype units.
The tropical oceans act as incredibly large solar-energy collectors and the OTEC process allows the production of electricity continuously, 24 hr. a day, 365 days a year. Additional benefits can be gained through key byproducts generated by an OTEC plant, including fresh desalinated water.
There is a well-established track record of infield performance at small scale. While relatively high capital estimates have hampered OTEC’s commercial developments, another significant factor has been the lack of knowledge and understanding of the full potential of the technology and how much work has been done.
The report can be downloaded here.