by Tar-Zen Su National Taiwan Ocean University R.O.C.
A commercial OTEC power plant large enough and efficient enough to compete with the conventional coal-fired or nuclear-fired power plant still doesn't exist. The paper describes the technical, economical, and political considerations for the development of OTEC.
It reveals that the future OTEC should first be developed in Far East Asian Countries instead of the tropical and sub-tropical island nations that the United States, Japan, and most European countries are presently concentrating on. It also concludes that to reduce the risks, to share the costs, to have better insights, and to reduce the impact, the first commercial OTEC power plant should be built under an internationally cooperating joint venture.
This paper expects that if the OTEC power plant were built in the East Pacific Realm it would affect not only technological, economical, and social impacts but also encourage a large portion of the human activities to shift from land to the sea.