by Shinya Takeno, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan
The OTEC R & D in Japan has been continued for about 20 years, beginning with a feasibility study of a new type of electric power generation system, mainly promoted by Electrotechnical Laboratory, MITL and Saga University.
In 1981-2, the closed cycle OTEC technology was proven by both projects of "Nauru" and "Tokunoshima" by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the Kyushu Electric Power Co. respectively.
Then the potential of deep ocean water for not only cold resources but also for cultivating marine organisms began to attract attention, and the new experimental facilities or laboratories for DOWA were completed in Toyama, Kochi and others.
In 1988, OTEC Association of Japan was established and began to study on a new fascinating and feasible concept as well as OTEC technology itself.