Dossier Océan et énergie - Énergie Thermique des Mers

Sommaire IOA News Letters


A presentation of a summary of activities by the OTEC/DOWA European subgroup was given in the recent IOA Planning Meeting by Mr. Michel Gauthier. He began by emphasizing that this subgroup has to concentrate on the market opportunities for European members because the appropriate ocean resource is not close to Europe. He then indicated that IOA has given European participants a special opportunity to organize a side-meeting of a so-called IOA subgroup and to discuss the specific interest of their national industry and research laboratories for OTEC/DOWA development. Gauthier reported that through their discussions and exchange of opinions, they had become better aware of the OTEC/DOWA developments and had reached following conclusions:

DOWA has been demonstrated to be a technically feasible technology for the production of electricity, fresh water, and aquaculture products. Small units can be built now but further development is required for large scale applications and cost reduction;
The generation of energy, fresh water and aquaculture products by DOWA is based on the use of cold water from the deep sea and warm water from the sea surface and is environmentally clean, renewable and suitable for very large scale application;
Today the DOWA/OTEC technologies are not cost competitive when compared to fossil fuel application at present price levels, but when also considering environmental effects, long term economic and strategic reasons, the assessment could be different;
The DOWA technologies require warm surface water with a constant temperature and therefore are limited to the tropical oceans. European countries industries cannot directly benefit, but can participate in the development and benefit from market opportunities created through the application of DOWA technologies.

It was then decided to inform the European Commission in Brussels on DOWA in terms of potential market opportunities for services and equipment in the coming years

On behalf of the sub group members the assistance of EC was solicited to:

Assess in more details the European interests with respect to potential DOWA
Evaluate and promote international efforts for cooperative R and D activities;
Organise an European sub group within the IOA.

The subgroup consists of 8 experts whose names and affiliations are given hereafter, a letter to the EC was mailed on December 26.1990.

C. Bevan, Held of Navy service GEC ALSTHOM/RATEAU
Y. E. Janson, Principal Eng. Marine Tech. SWECO
A Johnson, Technical Director GEC MARCONI Research
M. Kontu, Managing Director AQUAMAX OY
D. Lennard, Managing Director OTEC Sys. Ltd.
M. Gauthier, Delegate for South Pacific Region IFREMER.
P. Vielmo, Engineering Dept. TECNOMARE
B. J. C. Van der Pot, Area Manager DELTA MARINE