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Ocean Energy


(California Coast, U.S.A. - Jeff M. Wang)


- Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) 

Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is a marine renewable energy technology that uses the temperature gradients in the ocean to generate a baseload, or constant, source of electricity. Other renewable energy sources such as wind and wave energy, are intermittent sources of electricity, meaning that the amount of electricity they generate may be variable due to weather conditions.

OTEC technology uses the temperature differential between the deep cold and relatively warmer surface waters of the ocean to generate electricity. The technology is potentially viable in tropical areas where the year-round temperature differential between the deep cold and warm surface waters is greater than 20 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit). 

In addition to generating electricity, OTEC has the potential to produce other products such as potable water, hydrogen, and ammonia. The cold water can also be used for other commercial products such as water air conditioning and aquaculture.


- Wave Energy

Wave energy is a renewable energy source that uses the motion of waves to generate electricity. It's different from tidal energy, which uses the ebb and flow of the tides.
Wave energy is typically produced by:

  • Absorbers
  • Oscillating water columns
  • Attenuators
  • Overtopping devices
  • Oscillating wave surge converters

Wave energy is typically produced by floating turbine platforms or buoys that rise and fall with the swells. 

Wave energy is a clean, effective alternative to polluting and expensive diesel for:

  • Remote islands
  • Offshore industries, such as fish farms or oil & gas platforms

Wave energy might help meet the increasing global electricity demand. In the United States, ocean waves carry the equivalent of almost 60% of the United States' annual electricity needs. 

The biggest disadvantage of wave energy is location. Only power plants and towns near the ocean will benefit directly from it.



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