Barbados looks to OTEC as energy source

Barbados' Energy Minister, Darcy Boyce

Barbados could harness the energy from the ocean using ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) system in five years.

Barbados’ Minister for Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce, said in front of the Senate that the necessary steps to develop OTEC plant will soon be taken, according to Loop News Service.

The announcemet was made as the Energy Minister introduced Electric Light and Power (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

“We in the Government will collaborate with the Barbados Light & Power Company to do a pilot study so we can learn all that needs to be learned, including the commercial operation of it, so we can hopefully start one of those plants on a commercial scale in maybe five or so years,” Darcy Boyce was quoted as saying by Loop News Service.

In 2014, the Energy Minister revealed that a study would be undertaken, in partnership with the European Union, to establish ‘the marine potential within the limit of our territorial waters, by undertaking an assessment of the technical and commercial viability and sustainability of these marine resources.’

Darcy Boyce stated that the Government is particularly interested in OTEC systems, which can be used for producing electricity and air conditioning as well.

He disclosed that Barbados was already a recipient of a desk top study on OTEC technology through the SIDS-DOCK (Sustainable Energy Initiative) mechanism, using Japanese experts.

OTEC is a marine renewable energy technology that generates electricity using the differences in surface water and deep water temperature. OTEC technology is most suitable for the equatorial areas.

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