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IOA News Letters Summary

by Carrie Matsuzaki* University of Hawaii at Manoa Hawaii, United States

Held under the auspices of Oceanology International 94 in Brighton from March 8 to 11, IOA's premier conferenc succeeded in drawing OTEC/DOWA experts from Europe, North America and the Pacific region. OTEC and DOWA advocates exchanged ideas, discussed key technical issues, and affirmed the establishment of the International OTEC Association.

Thirty presentations covered various topics including underwater pipelines, deep ocean water utilization for producing various products, economics of OTEC and DOWA, cutting edge technical research, and potential future projects. OI'94 provided bound copies of the papers to all registrants.

In addition to listening to excellent technical papers, conference participants reviewed and approved the charter for IOA. The following important conclusions and recommendations regarding DOWA and OTEC were adopted by the participants.

Conclusions

  1. The Conference overviewed OTEC/DOWA activities in Europe, the United States, Taiwan and Japan. Significant progress made during the past 20 years in research and development has made OTEC/DOWA a serious, attractive alternative to established systems for a number of specific, worldwide locations.

  2. A real benefit of OTEC energy is benignity toward the environment, especially CO2 reduction in contrast with carbon-based energy. CO2 contributes to global warming.

  3. The Conference recognized that OTEC is the most promising area of solar-derived ocean energy. An offshore OTEC facility can transmit electrical energy to shore by cable, or can use the energy offshore for various purposes--desalinization of water, ammonia production, hydrogen liquefaction and related manufacturing industires. The combination of a nearshore or land-based OTEC plant with an aquaculture or biomass facility and a desalinization plant is a compatible arrangement that can provide multiple benefits. Deep ocean water is a valuable resource already used in several applications.

  4. In additon, both in the sense of the longer-term and stable economics associated with OTEC/DOWA, and the environmental aspects, there are seen to be benefits to society as a whole.

  5. The conference noted the capital intensive nature of OTEC, and the need to stress whole-life costing-now the preferred approach for all major capital schemes-which shows OTEC to be of significant interest in economic terms. The addition of the benefits from other products, noted in #3 above, further enhances the whole-life economic forecasts.

  6. For hot, tropical island nations in the South Pacific and Caribbean areas, OTEC could be important as fuel costs are high and sometimes beyond the country's annual budgetary capabilities. Potential to generate and conserve energy and development of co-products should be pursued.

  7. The combination of geographic suitability, environmental awareness, lack of domestic energy resources and economic prosperity all make Taiwan an ideal candidate for OTEC/DOWA development. Taiwan has abundant OTEC resources in its backyard where the east coast dips rapidly to depths of over 1,000 meters, providing easy access to water with the requisite difference in temperature. The Conference was pleased to note that Taiwan authorities were giving increased attention to OTEC/DOWA development and that Taiwan would welcome international cooperation in this endeavor.

  8. IOA has adopted a charter, as discussed and agreed at the organizational meeting held in March 1994 in Brighton, United Kingdom. (Note: a copy of the charter may be obtained by contacting the IOA Secretariat Office.)

Recommendations

  1. IOA will strongly advocate the utilization of an extremely large, renewable resource, the deep ocean water, which can support power generation(OTEC), fresh water production, air conditioning, mariculture and agriculture(DOWA).

  2. IOA will be a strong proponent of deep ocean water applications. Newsletters and announcements of seminars, conferences and other activities highlighting deep ocean water applications should be continued with wide dissemination.

  3. IOA will promote multi-national collaboration for DOWA projects, with IOA members calling upon other members for assistance and sharing of their expertise. A unified, dedicated organization like IOA is essential for this purpose and the present Confernece is an ideal starting point for such a campaign.

  4. IOA will promote and support DOWA projects such as an OTEC plant of sufficient scale to demonstrate that OTEC plant of sufficient scale to demonstrate that OTEC is a viable technology. Such a plant is an investment for the future, built on behalf of the generations to come, providing economic and environmental benefits.

  5. The Republic of China on Taiwan, one of the key countries in the establishment of IOA, has served as the Secretariat since the first planning meeting in 1989. The Conference expressed its appreciation to the Republic of China on Taiwan for providing these secretariat and newsletter services and wished to have Republic of China on Taiwan continue as Secretariat.

  6. The Conference considered that IOA should be registered in New Caledonia, and requested the Secretariat to pursue the matter.

  7. The Core Group should be maintanie and it should pursue these recommendations.

  8. Michel Gauthier should continue as the Core Group interim chairman.