Ocean Energy: Can It Compete?

by A. Douglas Carmichael, Jr., Prof. of Ocean Engrg.; Massachusetts Institute of Tech., Cambridge, MA 02139,
J. Sherman Feher, Strategic Planning; Electric Power Research Institute,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1987, Vol. 57, Issue 11, Pg. 70-73

Document Type: Feature article


Electric power plants using ocean energy are technically viable, but they tend to be cost-prohibitive. A study commissioned by the Electric Power Research Institute and carried out by investigators from MIT has revealed that six ocean energy sources to generate electric power—the tides, ocean water temperature differences, waves, currents, salinity gradients, and ocean winds—are not cost-competitive with conventional utility power plants. Nevertheless, at remore sites where conventionally-generated power is relatively expensive, an ocean energy source could provide to be an economic option in the near future.

Subject Headings: Electric power | Power plants | Hydro power | Ocean engineering | Salt water | Water waves | Tides | Water temperature

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