Written By: Mike Straub
Many Americans believe huge amounts of energy wait off shore and the key to energy independence lives under the ocean. Perhaps you recognize ‘Drill, Baby, Drill?’ The real answer to energy independence is not under the ocean, but finding a way to utilize the power within it.
The tidal energy trend currently spreads across Europe. Scotland, Ireland, and now France are getting their feet wet to help cut their dependency on fossil fuels. This month, The French installed four turbines just off of the Brittany coast. Each turbine will produce 2 megawatts of power, producing power for about 4,000 French homes. Europe is not alone—South Korea, China and Canada all have working tidal power today. Additionally, tidal energy draws attention to the massive amounts of power within the seas. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion provides the logical next step.
The ocean may not be the right temperature off the coast of Northern France, but OTEC provies immense opportunities throughout French territories like Tahiti, Bora-Bora, and the rest of French Polynesia. The region pays high costs to acquire fossil fuels needed to power the islands. An OTEC plant would cut their dependency on coal and gas, and significantly help the region’s bottom line.
Instead of looking at the ocean and awaiting the next tanker to arrive with fossil fuels, residents of the tropics can look with pride over their own native, warm waters, and know that the ocean is their own abundant energy source, powering generations to come.