Jamaica’s chief energy planner claims OTEC “uneconomical”

OTECThe Jamaica Observer reports on Al Binger’s efforts [cached] to convince the Jamaican government to go with OTEC. Jamaica’s chief energy planner Dr Raymond Wright, asked for a comment, said the OTEC system was evaluated in 1980s and found to be uneconomical. “We have not been able to get prices to be competitive,” Wright, the group managing director of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), told the Observer. According to the Observer: In 2002, Wright had written on the subject in an article titled “Will Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion fulfill its promise?” pointing out then that OTEC had to thrive alongside competitive new technologies such as fuel cells. And Wright also said that commercial OTEC plants would have some negative effects on the marine environment as construction facilities may disrupt the seabed, temporarily destroying marine ecosystem.

Comment: It is quite clear that any OTEC system will overall have substantially less impact on the environment than the use of fossil fuels, which Raymond Wright rather keep. OTEC technology has also improved markedly in the last twenty years, something which Dr. Wright want us to ignore. Lastly it can be said that OTEC does not compete with technology such as fuel cells, as fuel cells require a supply of energy, something which OTEC can provide. Fuel cells can’t provide fuel, they consume fuel.

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