Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion in the Caribbean

A number of island states in the Caribbean and Pacific have Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) resources within 10 kilometres of their shores, though projects remain few and far between. This is surprising since OTEC seems to be especially well-suited for remote islands in tropical seas where generation can be combined with other functions e.g., air-conditioning and fresh water production.

That said, the largest drawback are the high up-front capital costs and the lack of experience building OTEC plants at scale. Most funding comes from governments, such as the Nemo project off Martinique funded by the European Investment Bank.

In other news, the UK Ocean Thermal Energy Corp. signed a “memorandum of understanding” to design, develop, own and operate two power plants in the Bahamas that will sell electricity to Bahamas Electricity Corp.

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