OTEC: At the Brink of Commercial Reality?

by Louis Coakley, Southern States Energy Board, Atlanta, GA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


The development of ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) has traditionally been a question of technological feasibility and economics. Recent research and design developments, however, have significantly improved the concept of utilizing the oceans temperature differentials to produce electrical energy and other valuable resources. While OTEC would be limited to sufficient thermal resource area, almost 100 nations and territories possess this thermal requirement. This paper examines the development and commercial potential of OTEC and reviews significant issues which now pose important barriers to commercialization.

Subject Headings: Electric power | Thermal effects | Thermal analysis | Ocean engineering | Thermal power | Economic factors | Resource management | Feasibility studies

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