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Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

Environmental Impact, Pros & Cons Overall

So, How Does it Work?
Land Based vs. Floating OTEC
Environmental Impact, Pros & Cons Overall


As of yet, there are no significant environmental concerns. Thermal pollution was a concern, but it has been confirmed by numerous studies that there is little to none.


Clean-- non-polluting

Renewable energy resource

Consistent: Can function full 24 hour days, unlike wind and solar energy which depend on wind blowing and sunshine.

Fresh Water Creation: 5 liters for every 1000 liters of cold seawater can be created. The 210 kW Open Cycle Plant at NELHA approximatley 7000 gallons per day of function of desalinated water. Closed-cycle plants can produce large amounts of fresh water as well,  through condensation from the humid tropical atmosphere onto heat exchangers (through which the cold seawater flows.)

• Food--Aquaculture products and temperate agriculture can be cultivated (or assisted for agriculture through cooling of roots of temperate plants in tropics) through  use of discharge water.

• Air Conditioning can be provided.

• OTEC is non-polluting. It is probably



- OTEC is Noncompetitive in the market, in that oil is much cheaper as a resource.

- There can be difficulty in finding a large enough location which is in proximity to a part of the ocean which exhibits proper energy differences.

- More research and technology is needed to make OTEC more cost efficient.

- Transportation of energy and desalinated water can be complicated and expensive.


Picture of smokestacks; Size=130 pixels wide

Widespread uses of OTEC would  allow harmful emissions such as these to dramatically decline, therfefore giving all of us a safer world to live in.