Written By: Mike Straub
This is part 2 of our discussion with Jeremy Feakins, CEO of Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation. Part 1 discussed economy and clean power.
Imagine fighting for water. This is a reality for scores of people worldwide, driven to the point of violence in order to access clean water.
“According to the UN, more wars are fought over territorial rights to water, than any other cause.” says Jeremy Feakins, CEO of Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation. “The more resource security we foster in these countries, either by producing renewable energy or by producing millions of gallons of clean potable water, the better off they’re going to be.”
Many regions currently rely on acquiring clean water through desalination facilities; however, these plants require fossil fuels in order to produce water. OTEC power can run desalination plants free of fossil fuels – an ideal scenario where water is at a premium. Feakins adds, “Water is the key to everything. Even countries that don’t have a scarcity of potable water, like Guam, are open to accessing more of this resource.”
More than Hydration
Drinking water is just the beginning. Clean water is also critical in developing aquaculture and chilled soil agriculture, providing the ability to grow foods in regions where it otherwise would have never been possible. “These practices are all proven. Hundreds of tenants are growing sushi grade fish and lobsters and operating water bottling plants. This is all now available to developing countries.”
Through security and clean water production, Feakins and his company are focused on improving lives. Bringing an OTEC plant to a new region shouldn’t be a financial burden or a risk, which is why OTE Corporation does not require local or governmental financing of its plants, instead relying on the private marketplace to allocate capital. Most of these communities already pay enormous energy prices. OTEC reduces the dependency on foreign oil and eliminates the need for publicly-funded development and operation.
“OTEC means resource and energy security – it provides sustainable food production via aquaculture, chilled soil, and you’ve got fresh water. When the underserved are the beneficiaries of these ecologically sound, market-based benefits, whole populations can move away from the resource conflict imperative to progress – it is something worth fighting for.”