Our modern global community is confronted with
a multitude of challenging environmental problems,
and overwhelming consumption of fossil fuel
is threatening man and earth's very survival.
It is important to understand that present environmental
conditions are the result of long-term abuse
and the process of solving problems to return
to a sound and healthy environment is going
to be difficult. We are currently on a collision
course, finding ourselves in a situation where
too many people are demanding too many goods
and services. As the world's population expands,
so does industrial production, creating a higher
standard of living for more of our citizens
who will then consume even more fossil fuel.
The result is escalating damage to the global
environment as our precious finite natural resources
As individuals we often find that too much of
a good thing turns into a bad habit. The same
could be said about our thirst for, and our
addiction to, fossil fuel. But, let's not be
too harsh on the oil producers and those visionaries
who designed machines and gadgets that have
enhanced our comfort and standard of living.
It has only been in recent years that scientists
have been able to identify environmental penalties
associated with progress. Furthermore, heated
debates continue on the extent to which our
current situation is man-made or natural. But
the recent scientific findings have created
a wedge between the progressive industrialist
seeking more goods at lower cost, and those
who demand a clean and safe environment.
Scientific evidence tends to side with the environmentalists-the
facts are on their side and strongly support
the critical need to change the way we live.
The wisest response is to select a new course
of action that allows economic expansion now--without
harm to the environment in the future. And beyond
fossil fuels, new alarms are being sounded about
the depletion of basic resources such as the
world's supply of fresh water -critical to support
life and improve standards of living --and the
supply of fish--one of the global population's
major sources of protein. Some marine species
face extinction because of over fishing while
major underground water tables are in steady
decline around the world.
During the next 20 years, experts foresee a
need for 1500 gigawatts of additional power
simply to meet new demand. This equates to 15,000
power plants that are 100 MW's each and 59 million
barrels of oil consumed each day. The World
Bank estimates that the developing countries
alone will need to spend $100 billion each year
for the next 30 years installing new power plants
most of which will be in the equatorial zone.
These are astronomical figures that could mean
enormous quantities of fossil fuel and 2.2 billion
tons of carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere
per year. Hence, an urgent need to switch to
What is the answer? Do we build more efficient
fossil fuel power plants? Do we retrofit existing
plants with energy recovery systems and incorporate
greater use of co-generation? Do we design more
efficient household appliances and automobiles
and should we not be concerned about why do
we not see a greater use of renewables?
Of course, we recognize the value of confronting
all of these questions. Energy conservation
and increased energy efficiency should be aggressively
implemented whenever economically feasible.
And yes, renewable energy should be encouraged,
but traditionally renewables have not been cost
effective (the exception has been hydroelectric
dams, but now there is concern about building
new dams because of the distorted use of rich
agricultural land, the misuse of water and the
blockage of fish passages).
Renewables have not been cost competitive with
conventional power generation because of the
availability factor. For example, wind only
generates power when the wind blows. Solar collectors
only produce electricity when the sun shines
and wave energy is not constant. So it is the
capacity factor that is so important and why
renewables are not very economical or popular.
Fossil fuel plants have a high capacity factor.
What is needed is a technology that uses solar
energy to generate electricity, produces fresh
water in the process, and operates 24 hours
per day. We believe that by using advanced technology
a more efficient means of harnessing solar energy
can be created, allowing the global community
to enjoy both its demand for progress and its
respect for the environment. Such a concept
is moving from vision to reality.
Although there are many alternative sources
of energy that show great promise, this site will focus on ocean thermal energy (OTE) also called ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). OTE takes advantage of the temperature
difference between the solar heated surface
water and the deep cold bottom water, using
the warm surface water as the heat source and
the cold bottom water as the heat sink. Ideal
operating conditions are plentiful throughout
the equatorial zone.
This is an economically efficient means to convert
the solar energy in the upper layers of the
tropical oceans into low cost electricity, large
volumes of desalinated water, and a variety
of other valuable by-products. Please explore
our site to learn more about OTE, Sea Solar
Power, and the exciting ideas we are bringing
to the search for alternative energy sources.
OTE is the only alternative energy source that can deliver continuous power 24/7, rain or shine, day and night.
A Quick Look at Some Current Methods of Power Generation
Oil and Natural Gas: Both in relatively short supply. New wells and extraction methods make costs rise for new supplies.
Coal: Less costly than oil but polluting and costly for waste cleanup. Mercury emissions enter the food chain and affect the health of unborn children. (Above three sources release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, a major cause of global warming.)
Nuclear Power: Radioactive waste creates an environmental hazard for thousands of years. Serious malfunction of a nuclear plant or a terrorist attack could cause a disastrous meltdown.
Hydro/Dams: Environmentally friendly but most available sites already utilized.
Wind Power: Environmentally friendly but resource is intermittent, requiring reliable backup power plants.
Solar Power: Environmentally friendly but needs large areas of unshaded land and only makes power when sun shines. Needs large storage systems for night loads and/or backup power plants on cloudy days and nights.