Apr 2, 2012

Deep Ocean Energy Market Gains Momentum

Admin
2 min
Photo credit: Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc.   Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), a new technology using the power of co...

Photo credit: Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc.

 

Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), a new technology using the power of cold seawater, is gaining momentum for its potential use at naval bases and islands. Though not a new concept, the technology has never fully been developed amid centuries of cheaper fossil fuels—times are changing.

Thanks to innovations in the oil and gas industry, equipment used in OTEC is now becoming cost-competitive. And despite the high cost of OTEC power, researchers have found other uses that could potentially benefit remote areas surrounded by water, making up for projects in cost.

In the Bahamas, the country's utility has signed an agreement with a Pennsylvania company to build two 10-megawatt plants, while other established military contracts are making progress on their own plants.

Under the OTE Corporation, the Bahama's plans to build a pipe that would generate far more cold seawater to land than is needed for power, which would allow the islands to run desalination plants or grow commodities that otherwise wouldn't thrive in a warmer climate.

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OTE Corporation has invested $7 billion to build plants on shore at about $100 million each, running them under a 25 to 30 year power purchase agreement. Much of the water would be used for an “eco-industrial park” to produce fresh water, mariculture or produce from temperate greenhouses much like a similar plant operating in Hawaii. Lockheed Martin, another competitor, plans to build offshore platforms for the sole purpose of energy. 

How it works

By creating electricity from the temperature difference between warm and cold seawater, cold water is pumped through a pipe 1,000 meters or more deep to meet warm seawater pulled from the surface in a heat exchanger with a chemical with a low boiling point. The steam runs off an electrical turbine and is then condensed back to liquid form with the cooler seawater.

 

 

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May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

schools
energyefficiency
Renewables
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only UK regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil

Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.

Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.

According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.

“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."

He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."

North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).

The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.

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