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OTEC Affirmative

1AC Plan

The United States Federal Government should streamline its regulatory framework for the development of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) in the Earth’s oceans.

1AC Advantage – Ocean Warming

Contention One: “Warming”… OCEAN Warming

a. Thermal stratification of the world’s oceans are accelerating – this impacts phytoplankton, sea levels, weather and the climate – results in extinction.

Baird ’13 (Jim, “OTEC and Energy Innovation: The Willie Sutton Approach,” May 15, 2013


Robert Stewart of Texas A&M points out in Oceanography in the 21st Century,"18 times more heat has been stored in the ocean since the mid 1950s due to global warming than has been stored in the atmosphere. When a liquid is heated it expands and because its molecules move apart it becomes less dense. As a consequence the oceans are becoming thermally stratified which negatively impacts phytoplankton that are the base of the ocean food chain and the lungs of the planet. They absorb more atmospheric carbon dioxide than the world's forests. The Nature article, "Global phytoplankton decline over the past century" by Daniel G. Boyce of Dalhousie postulates the volume of phytoplankton in the world's oceans, which produce half of the oxygen in the atmosphere by consuming the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide, has been declining steadily for the past half century-down about 40 percent since 1950. "What we think is happening is that the oceans are becoming more stratified as the water warms," said Boyce. "The plants need sunlight from above and nutrients from below; and as it becomes more stratified, that limits the availability of nutrients." Expanding oceans have no place to go but up onto the land and warming oceans and air melt the polar icecaps which exacerbates the sea level problem. Contrary to the IEA's recent report that we have five years to prevent "dangerous" climate change, a Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis study concluded that even if we stopped putting CO2 into the atmosphere today the seas may rise by at least four metres, over the next 1,000 years. The insurance company Allianz has estimated that $28 trillion worth of infrastructure will be at risk by as early as 2050 and the outlook for Small Island States is bleak. Increasing evaporation is another consequence of warming oceans and the conventional wisdom has been this moisture produces cloud cover and an albdedo effect that will produce ocean cooling. A recent study however indicates that this may in fact be wrong and instead warming oceans transfer heat to the overlying atmosphere, thinning out the low-lying clouds to let in more sunlight that further warms the ocean. This feedback warms both the air and water and may lead to thermal runaway and catastrophe. As Will Rogers was wise enough to note: Unfortunately, many of the actions proposed in response to global warming are likely to do more harm than good. Fusion has been referred to as the holy grail of energy because it mimics the sun which is the source of virtually all of our power but for fission. The problem is like fission; fusion boils water to produce electricity which is a process that is only about 33 percent efficient. Richard Smalley, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, estimated a population of 10 billion by the year 2050 will require as much as 60 terawatts to meet its needs, including massive desalination. To produce this 60 terawatts with either fission or fusion an additional 120 terawatts of waste heat would be produced, most of which would end up in the ocean, exacerbating thermal expansion and accelerating the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet. Solar panels, wind and hydro do not produce waste heat but neither do they remedy sea level rise, thermal runaway or our dying oceans. Only one energy source, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) converts accumulating ocean heat to energy, produces renewable energy 24/7, eliminates carbon emissions, and increases carbon dioxide absorption (cooler water absorbs more CO2). A NASA study recently published in Nature determined the average amount of energy the ocean absorbed each year over the period 1993 to 2008 was enough to power nearly 500 100-watt light bulbs for each of the roughly 6.7 billion people on the planet. This 330 terawatts is about 20 times the total amount of primary energy consumed globally every year. It must be noted that even though the ocean is accumulating more solar energy than we can use, it is the cold denser water available due to the thermohaline circulation that makes conversion of this heat to electrical or mechanical energy possible. Conventional OTEC would be so effective cooling the ocean, one of its major drawbacks is the potential to overturn the the thermohaline circulation which is vital to the maintenance of the deep water heat sink required to produce energy by this method. As Dr. Paul Curto, former NASA Chief Technologist, puts it in his Op Ed American Energy Policy V -- Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, last year "The size of the heat sink represented by the "cold ocean mass" in the tropics needs to be more than roughly 300 times or larger resource than that of the OTEC power generation over a year so that OTEC may become a third order effect. If we estimate the total volume of water below 500m depth in the tropical oceans, roughly 500 million cubic kilometers, 5e17 cubic meters, or 5e20 liters, we arrive at an estimated 5e20 joules per degree Celsius differential in the heat sink, or 139e6 TWh, over 317 times that from 2.5 TWe of OTEC each year. The efficiency of OTEC conversion is proportional to the temperature difference (dT) between the surface layer and the mean temperature of the heat sink (~3C). If we assume very large OTEC utilization, say 2.5 TWe as shown, with an average dT of 20C, the average efficiency is roughly 70% of the Carnot efficiency (taking into account parasitic losses), or 4.73%. The amount of heat dumped by that much OTEC into the ocean's heat sink at depth is therefore just over 50 TWth, and that is also equal to the heat removed from the surface plus the power output, about 53 TW. The heat sink is replenished by cold arctic and antarctic waters sinking to the bottom at the poles. The reradiation from the world's oceans should also be enhanced by the elevated temperatures due to global warming, but the amount of water sinking to the bottom will likely remain in balance. In other words, as long as the heat sink is replenished by the arctic currents at near to or the same as is done today, the added heat from OTEC will not measurably impact the thermocline for centuries or longer, after which OTEC's cooling effect on the ocean may enhance the replenishment of cold water at the poles. The surface layers of the ocean have relatively small volume, three orders of magnitude less, compared to that of the heat sink at depth. Therefore, OTEC's impact on reducing the surface water temperature over time will be much larger, on the order of one degree F per decade at this power level." The North Atlantic thermohaline circulation is responsible for much of the total oceanic heat transport towards the north pole, peaking at about 1.2 + 0.3 Peta Watts (1015 Watts) at 24oN latitude. To produce Smalley's 60TW with conventional OTEC you would therefore dump 60TW*20 or 1.2 Peta Watts of heat to the depths and remove the same from the surface which would overturn the thermohaline. GWMM OTEC uses a heat pipe to take exhausted vapors from a turbine to the depths for condensation, instead of using massive and expensive cold water pipes to bring water to the surface, and a counter-current heat transfer system to recirculate the latent heat of condensation back to the surface rather than dumping the heat to the depths. This solves OTEC's problems of cost, limited potential, efficiency and reduces the environmental impacts on the thermohaline and aquatic life. To produce 60 TW with this approach you would extract 120 TW from the surface and ideally dump 60TW worth of heat to the depths or about the same as you would to produce 2.5 TW with the conventional approach. (A large hurricane extracts 50 or more terrawatts of heat from the ocean's surface and on average there are 21category 3 or greater storms around the globe each year plus many smaller storms.) They do not impact the Thermohaline because most of the heat is returned to the surface in falling rain, which is the same principle GWMM OTEC seeks to employ. In the process of creating all of the renewable energy mankind needs, you simultaneously draw down the fuel hurricanes thrive on as well as the cause of thermal expansion and prevent the potential for thermal runaway and mass extinctions.

b. Decline in phytoplankton risks extinction.

UPI ‘8 (“Acidic oceans may tangle food chain,” 6/6/2008. http://www.upi.com/Energy_Resources/2008/06/06/Acidic_oceans_may_tangle_food_chain/UPI-84651212763771/print/.)
Increased carbon levels in ocean water could have devastating impacts on marine life, scientists testified Thursday at a congressional hearing. Although most of the concern about carbon emissions has focused on the atmosphere and resulting temperature changes, accumulation of carbon dioxide in the ocean also could have disturbing outcomes, experts said at the hearing, which examined legislation that would create a program to study how the ocean responds to increased carbon levels. Ocean surface waters quickly absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so as carbon concentrations rise in the skies, they also skyrocket in the watery depths that cover almost 70 percent of the planet. As carbon dioxide increases in oceans, the acidity of the water also rises, and this change could affect a wide variety of organisms, said Scott Doney, senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a non-profit research institute based in Woods Hole, Mass. "Greater acidity slows the growth or even dissolves ocean plant and animal shells built from calcium carbonate," Doney told representatives in the House Committee on Energy and the Environment. "Acidification thus threatens a wide range of marine organisms, from microscopic plankton and shellfish to massive coral reefs." If small organisms, like phytoplankton, are knocked out by acidity, the ripples would be far-reaching, said David Adamec, head of ocean sciences at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. "If the amount of phytoplankton is reduced, you reduce the amount of photosynthesis going on in the ocean," Adamec told United Press International. "Those little guys are responsible for half of the oxygen you're breathing right now." A hit to microscopic organisms can also bring down a whole food chain. For instance, several years ago, an El Nino event wiped out the phytoplankton near the Galapagos Islands. That year, juvenile bird and seal populations almost disappeared. If ocean acidity stunted phytoplankton populations like the El Nino did that year, a similar result would occur -- but it would last for much longer than one year, potentially leading to extinction for some species, Adamec said. While it's clear increased acidity makes it difficult for phytoplankton to thrive, scientists don't know what level of acidity will result in catastrophic damages, said Wayne Esaias, a NASA oceanographer. "There's no hard and fast number we can use," he told UPI. In fact, although scientists can guess at the impacts of acidity, no one's sure what will happen in reality. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., pointed to this uncertainty at Thursday's hearing. "The ocean will be very different with increased levels of carbon dioxide, but I don't know if it will be better or worse," Bartlett said. However, even though it's not clear what the changes will be, the risk of doing nothing could be disastrous for ecosystems, said Ken Caldeira, a scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, a non-profit research organization. "The systems that are adapted to very precise chemical or climatological conditions will disappear and be replaced by species which, on land, we call weeds," Caldeira said. "What is the level of irreversible environmental risk that you're willing to take?" It's precisely this uncertainty that the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act attempts to address. The bill creates a federal committee within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to monitor carbon dioxide levels in ocean waters and research the impacts of acidification. like Bishop. "We would lose everything," he told UPI.

c. Rising sea levels threaten extinction.

Kaku ’11 (Michio, co-creator of string field theory, a branch of string theory, he received a B.S from Harvard University, “Physics of the Future”,
For every vertical foot that the ocean rises, the horizontal spread of the ocean is about 100 feet. Already, sea levels have risen 8 inches in the past century, mainly caused by the expansion of seawater as it heats up. According to the United Nations, sea levels could rise by 7 to 23 inches by 2100. Some scientists have said that the UN report was too cautious in interpreting the data. According to scientists at the University of Colorado’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, by 2100 sea levels could rise by 3 to 6 feet. So gradually the map of the earth’s coastlines will change. Temperatures started to be reliably recorded in the late 1700s; 1995, 2005, and 2010 ranked among the hottest years ever recorded; 2000 to 2009 was the hottest decade. Likewise, levels of carbon dioxide are rising dramatically. They are at the highest levels in 100,000 years. As the earth heats up, tropical diseases are gradually migrating northward. The recent spread of the West Nile virus carried by mosquitoes may be a harbinger of things to come. UN officials are especially concerned about the spread of malaria northward. Usually, the eggs of many harmful insects die every winter when the soil freezes. But with the shortening of the winter season, it means the inexorable spread of dangerous insects northward. CARBONDIOXIDE—GREENHOUSEGAS According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientists have concluded with 90 percent confidence that global warming is driven by human activity, especially the production of carbon dioxide via the burning of oil and coal. Sunlight easily passes through carbon dioxide. But as sunlight heats up the earth, it creates infrared radiation, which does not pass back through carbon dioxide so easily. The energy from sunlight cannot escape back into space and is trapped. We also see a somewhat similar effect in greenhouses or cars. The sunlight warms the air, which is prevented from escaping by the glass. Ominously, the amount of carbon dioxide generated has grown explosively, especially in the last century. Before the Industrial Revolution, the carbon dioxide content of the air was 270 parts per million (ppm). Today, it has soared to 387 ppm. (In 1900, the world consumed 150 million barrels of oil. In 2000, it jumped to 28 billion barrels, a 185-fold jump. In 2008, 9.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide were sent into the air from fossil fuel burning and also deforestation, but only 5 billion tons were recycled into the oceans, soil, and vegetation. The remainder will stay in the air for decades to come, heating up the earth.) VISIT TO ICELAND The rise in temperature is not a fluke, as we can see by analyzing ice cores. By drilling deep into the ancient ice of the Arctic, scientists have been able to extract air bubbles that are thousands of years old. By chemically analyzing the air in these bubbles, scientists can reconstruct the temperature and carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere going back more than 600,000 years. Soon, they will be able to determine the weather conditions going back a million years. I had a chance to see this firsthand. I once gave a lecture in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, and had the privilege of visiting the University of Iceland, where ice cores are being analyzed. When your airplane lands in Reykjavik, at first all you see is snow and jagged rock, resembling the bleak landscape of the moon. Although barren and forbidding, the terrain makes the Arctic an ideal place to analyze the climate of the earth hundreds of thousands of years ago. When I visited their laboratory, which is kept at freezing temperatures, I had to pass through thick refrigerator doors. Once inside, I could see racks and racks containing long metal tubes, each about an inch and a half in diameter and about ten feet long. Each hollow tube had been drilled deep into the ice of a glacier. As the tube penetrated the ice, it captured samples from snows that had fallen thousands of years ago. When the tubes were removed, I could carefully examine the icy contents of each. At first, all I could see was a long column of white ice. But upon closer examination, I could see that the ice had stripes made of tiny bands of different colors. Scientists have to use a variety of techniques to date them. Some of the ice layers contain markers indicating important events, such as the soot emitted from a volcanic eruption. Since the dates of these eruptions are known to great accuracy, one can use them to determine how old that layer is. These ice cores were then cut in various slices so they could be examined. When I peered into one slice under a microscope, I saw tiny, microscopic bubbles. I shuddered to realize that I was seeing air bubbles that were deposited tens of thousands of years ago, even before the rise of human civilization. The carbon dioxide content within each air bubble is easily measured. But calculating the temperature of the air when the ice was first deposited is more difficult. (To do this, scientists analyze the water in the bubble. Water molecules can contain different isotopes. As the temperature falls, heavier water isotopes condense faster than ordinary water molecules. Hence, by measuring the amount of the heavier isotopes, one can calculate the temperature at which the water molecule condensed.) Finally, after painfully analyzing the contents of thousands of ice cores, these scientists have come to some important conclusions. They found that temperature and carbon dioxide levels have oscillated in parallel, like two roller coasters moving together, in synchronization over many thousands of years. When one curve rises or falls, so does the other. Most important, they found a sudden spike in temperature and carbon dioxide content happening just within the last century. This is highly unusual, since most fluctuations occur slowly over millennia. This unusual spike is not part of this natural heating process, scientists claim, but is a direct indicator of human activity. There are other ways to show that this sudden spike is caused by human activity, and not natural cycles. Computer simulations are now so advanced that we can simulate the temperature of the earth with and without the presence of human activity. Without civilization producing carbon dioxide, we find a relatively flat temperature curve. But with the addition of human activity, we can show that there should be a sudden spike in both temperature and carbon dioxide. The predicted spike fits the actual spike perfectly. Lastly, one can measure the amount of sunlight that lands on every square foot of the earth’s surface. Scientists can also calculate the amount of heat that is reflected into outer space from the earth. Normally, we expect these two amounts to be equal, with input equaling output. But in reality, we find the net amount of energy that is currently heating the earth. Then if we calculate the amount of energy being produced by human activity, we find a perfect match. Hence, human activity is causing the current heating of the earth. Unfortunately, even if we were to suddenly stop producing any carbon dioxide, the gas that has already been released into the atmosphere is enough to continue global warming for decades to come. As a result, by midcentury, the situation could be dire. Scientists have created pictures of what our coastal cities will look like at midcentury and beyond if sea levels continue to rise. Coastal cities may disappear. Large parts of Manhattan may have to be evacuated, with Wall Street underwater. Governments will have to decide which of their great cities and capitals are worth saving and which are beyond hope. Some cities may be saved via a combination of sophisticated dikes and water gates. Other cities may be deemed hopeless and allowed to vanish under the ocean, creating mass migrations of people. Since most of the commercial and population centers of the world are next to the ocean, this could have a disastrous effect on the world economy. Even if some cities can be salvaged, there is still the danger that large storms can send surges of water into a city, paralyzing its infrastructure. For example, in 1992 a huge storm surge flooded Manhattan, paralyzing the subway system and trains to New Jersey. With transportation flooded, the economy grinds to a halt. FLOODING BANGLADESH AND VIETNAM A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change isolated three hot spots for potential disaster: Bangladesh, the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, and the Nile Delta in Egypt. The worst situation is that of Bangladesh, a country regularly flooded by storms even without global warming. Most of the country is flat and at sea level. Although it has made significant gains in the last few decades, it is still one of the poorest nations on earth, with one of the highest population densities. (It has a population of 161 million, comparable to that of Russia, but with 1/120 of the land area.) About 50 percent of the land area will be permanently flooded if sea levels rise by three feet. Natural calamities occur there almost every year, but in September 1998, the world witnessed in horror a preview of what may become commonplace. Massive flooding submerged two-thirds of the nation, leaving 30 million people homeless almost overnight; 1,000 were killed, and 6,000 miles of roads were destroyed. This was one of the worst natural disasters in modern history. Another country that would be devastated by a rise in sea level is Vietnam, where the Mekong Delta is particularly vulnerable. By midcentury, this country of 87 million people could face a collapse of its main food-growing area. Half the rice in Vietnam is grown in the Mekong Delta, home to 17 million people, and much of it will be flooded permanently by rising sea levels. According to the World Bank, 11 percent of the entire population would be displaced if sea levels rise by three feet by midcentury. The Mekong Delta will also be flooded with salt water, permanently destroying the fertile soil of the area. If millions are flooded out of their homes in Vietnam, many will flock to Ho Chi Minh City seeking refuge. But one-fourth of the city will also be underwater. In 2003 the Pentagon commissioned a study, done by the Global Business Network, that showed that, in a worst-case scenario, chaos could spread around the world due to global warming. As millions of refugees cross national borders, governments could lose all authority and collapse, so countries could descend into the nightmare of looting, rioting, and chaos. In this desperate situation, nations, when faced with the prospect of the influx of millions of desperate people, may resort to nuclear weapons. “Envision Pakistan, India, and China—all armed with nuclear weapons—skirmishing at their borders over refugees, access to shared rivers, and arable land,” the report said. Peter Schwartz, founder of the Global Business Network and a principal author of the Pentagon study, confided to me the details of this scenario. He told me that the biggest hot spot would be the border between India and Bangladesh. In a major crisis in Bangladesh, up to 160 million people could be driven out of their homes, sparking one of the greatest migrations in human history. Tensions could rapidly rise as borders collapse, local governments are paralyzed, and mass rioting breaks out. Schwartz sees that nations may use nuclear weapons as a last resort.

d. Climate change risks extinction

Mazo ‘10 (Jeffrey Mazo, PhD in Paleoclimatology from UCLA and Managing Editor, Survival and Research Fellow for Environmental Security and Science Policy at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, 3-2010, “Climate Conflict: How global warming threatens security and what to do about it,” pg. 122)
The best estimates for global warming to the end of the century range from 2.5-4.C above pre-industrial levels, depending on the scenario. Even in the best-case scenario, the low end of the likely range is 1.goC, and in the worst 'business as usual' projections, which actual emissions have been matching, the range of likely warming runs from 3.1--7.1°C. Even keeping emissions at constant 2000 levels (which have already been exceeded), global temperature would still be expected to reach 1.2°C (O'9""1.5°C)above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century." Without early and severe reductions in emissions, the effects of climate change in the second half of the twenty-first century are likely to be catastrophic for the stability and security of countries in the developing world - not to mention the associated human tragedy. Climate change could even undermine the strength and stability of emerging and advanced economies, beyond the knock-on effects on security of widespread state failure and collapse in developing countries.' And although they have been condemned as melodramatic and alarmist, many informed observers believe that unmitigated climate change beyond the end of the century could pose an existential threat to civilisation." What is certain is that there is no precedent in human experience for such rapid change or such climatic conditions, and even in the best case adaptation to these extremes would mean profound social, cultural and political changes.

e. OTEC results in net gains of plankton.

Avery ’94 (William, B.S. in chemistry from Pomona College and his A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in physical chemistry from Harvard. “Renewable energy from the ocean: a guide to OTEC,” p. 425-427.
Gains of plankton organisms may result some distance away from the OTEC plant as a result of increased nutrient input to euphotic zones that are associated with the shoaling of isopycnal and nutricline. Since plankton is important in the marine food chain, enhanced productivity due to redistribution of nutrients may improve fishing. Fish, which in general are attracted to offshore structures, are expected to increase their ambient concentration near OTEC plants. The world annual yield of marine fisheries is presently 70 million tons, with most fish caught on continental shelves. In fact, the open ocean (90% of the total ocean area) produces only about 0.7% of the fish because most of the nutrients in the surface water are extracted by plants and drift down to the ocean floor in the remains of plant or animal life. The water in the coastal zones is continually supplied with fresh nutrients in the runoff from the adjacent land and, hence, supports a high level of plant life activity and produces 54% of the fish. Only 0.1 % of the ocean area lies in the upwelling regions, where nutrient-laden water is brought up from the ocean depths, yet these regions produce 44% of the fish The reason for this spectacular difference can be seen in Table 9-9, which shows that the nitrate and phosphorus concentrations in deep seawater are about 150 and 5 times more, respectively, than their counterpart concentrations in surface water at a typical site (St. Croix in the Virgin Islands). Proposals to produce artificial upwelling, including one using nuclear power, have concluded that the cost would be excessive. Roels (1980) studied the possibility of using a shore-based OTEC plant to supply nutrient-laden water to a mariculture system, with a series of experiments carried out at St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. At that site the ocean is 1000 m deep only 1.6 km offshore. Three polyethylene pipelines, 6.9 em in diameter and 1830 m long, have brought approximately 250 liters/min of bottom water into 5-m3 pools where diatoms from laboratory cultures are grown. The food-laden effluent flows through metered channels to pools where shellfish are raised. The resulting protein production rate was excellent; 78% of the inorganic nitrogen in the deep seawater was converted to phytoplankton-protein nitrogen, and 22% of that was converted to clam-meat protein nitrogen. This compares with plant-protein/animal-protein conversion ratios of31 % for cows' milk production and 6.5% for feedlot beef production. The production of seafood is therefore more efficient than that of beef. Thus, shifts from beef to seafood, already underway in some societies for health reasons, could help to meet world needs for high-quality food. Net gains of plankton organisms may result some distance away from the OTEC plant as a result of increased nutrient input to the euphotic zone associated with the shoaling of isopycnal and nutricline. Increased harvests of small oceanic fish, which feed on plankton, would result.

f. OTEC solves global warming – reduces temperatures and CO2 levels.

Curto ’10 (Dr. Paul, former NASA Chief Technologist, “American Energy Policy V -- Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion,” 12/15/2010, http://www.opednews.com/articles/American-Energy-Policy-V--by-Paul-from-Potomac-101214-315.html)-mikee
OTEC is a true triple threat against global warming. It is the only technology that acts to directly reduce the temperature of the ocean (it was estimated one degree Fahrenheit reduction every twenty years for 10,000 250 MWe plants in '77), eliminates carbon emissions, and increases carbon dioxide absorption (cooler water absorbs more CO2) at the same time. It generates fuel that is portable and efficient, electricity for coastal areas if it is moored, and possibly food from the nutrients brought up from the ocean floor. It creates jobs, perhaps millions of them, if it is the serious contender for the future multi-trillion-dollar energy economy. In concert with wind and solar power, OTEC will complete the conversion of the human race to a balance with Nature. We need only choose life over convenience. Some folks know that I've been a proponent of ocean power since the late '70s. Rummaging through old stuff on the internet, I found this ancient photo of me in Miami in 1977, on a panel discussing OTEC. This may have been the first time that OTEC was discussed in public in terms of global warming. Oddly enough, the concern was that we might cause an Ice Age! We should be more worried about global warming upsetting the ocean currents by overheating the ocean, which is now happening at an alarming rate. The latest guess is +5C (9F) by 2100! This technology may be deployed as a means to bring the ocean back into balance, not to upset it. The designs for these OTEC ships have features that are quite innovative and cost effective. Estimates range from $3000 to $6000 per kWe installed in 2010 dollars, depending on the configuration and proximity to shore. The capacity factor should be close to 100%, especially with the modular designs for the power modules. This means that OTEC annual power production will average three times that of solar and wind per unit of power capacity. Gulf plants may be moored in deep water and connected directly to the grid, bypassing the ammonia step. Tropical ships may graze from site to site and perform stationkeeping to stay in place when it's advantageous to do so. One design called for neutrally buoyant hulls to allow for submerging the ship in the event of any major storm to levels below the wave action zone. The major expenses are for the heat exchangers (titanium alloys or aluminum), cold water pipe, and ammonia production/electrical generation and transmission facilities. The heat would be dumped into the cold water stream, which cools the condenser and is ejected below the thermocline so that the water would not release its CO2 content except to the colder surrounding water at depth, where the CO2 would remain sequestered. The ocean bottom waters are at 1 to 3 degrees Celsius everywhere year round, at depths over 1000 meters, while the seas average over 4000 meters in depth worldwide. This is the source of cooling water for OTEC. CO2 is dissolved in water at cold temperatures, and the ocean depths hold over 98% of the world's CO2 sequestered in solution. It's cold below 1000 m depth everywhere, even at the equator. In Hawaii, the cold water we brought to the surface chilled our beer to 34 F. It was 90 F outside. The warmer water used for the evaporator would be ejected near the surface where it came from and would mix in the ship's wake. Biofouling would be handled with chlorination or ozonation, probably the latter in the tropics version. Periodic flushing would be part of the routine, and automated. The cleaning technique is used on most iron ships on the high seas for over a century. If we build over 20000 OTEC plants (each about the size of the nearly 7000 oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico) deployed in the tropics, we could generate 5000 GWe of power and reduce the surface water temperature by 1C each decade. OTEC kills two birds with one stone: It generates power for the planet and stops global warming. I was aboard OTEC-1 during its shakedown tests off the big island in Hawaii in 1979. The pilot plant, built by DOE, performed its tests and passed with flying colors. Funding for the commercial scale demonstrator was killed by the next administration.

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