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I've heard about this ocean-based clean energy tech before, but always thought it wasn't ready for prime-time. But given recent renewable-energy working agreements between US and China companies, overseen by Secretary Kerry -- I just may have to start tuning in on the topic ...

Here are the "promotional" highlights for the new and improved OTEC tech:

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC)

link to clip

[my partial transcript: ]

Energy exists a all around us [...]

The Oceans offer the single largest opportunity for meeting our energy needs.

It acts as the world's largest solar panel -- collecting 80% of the energy the Earth receives from the Sun.

Or enough to offset 250,000,000,000 Barrels of Oil everyday.

Now while this surface water is heating up, the Ocean's depths remain cold.

Known as OTEC, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, turns this difference into power. [...]

{The steam cycle is described in the next section.}

Like many renewable energy sources OTEC offers a responsible way to meet growing power needs.

The advantage of OTEC is that it provides continuous, consistent, base-load power. [...]

Estimates even show that building each plant will create about 3500 Jobs.

Finally, OTEC provides a domestic energy source increasing energy security.


Kind of cool, eh?  If we can do this for China, why can't we do this for us?

Here is that new-improved OTEC tech, as designed and as NOW being deployed in China, by one of NASA's go-to contractors, Lockheed Martin:

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion -- Overview

In geographical areas with warm surface water and cold deep water, the temperature difference can be leveraged to drive a steam cycle that turns a turbine and produces power. Warm surface sea water passes through a heat exchanger, vaporizing a low boiling point working fluid to drive a turbine generator, producing electricity.

This process can serve as a baseload power generation system that produces a significant amount of renewable, non-polluting power, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

larger image -- Source: Lockheed's OTEC Brochure (pdf)

Why does China always get the "good stuff" -- with regards to renewable energy innovations?

Isn't there enough of a heat-engine temperature-difference potential in the vast warming Oceans -- to meet and replace ALL our Fossil Fuel energy needs?

There probably is. What is lacking is the vision, the will, the tech, and the national goals, to reach out there -- and tap it.

... Before it's too late to turn our massive "energy-ship of state" around, from the "more of the same" course we seem to be dead-set on.

The Oceans aren't getting any colder, you know. We might as well tap into Nature's built-in heat pump. It's free. It's clean. And it's immense. As big and vast as the deep blue sea.

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Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and Climate Change SOS.

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