In his keynote address at Asia Pacific Business Forum 2014, Mohamed Nasheed, former president of Maldives mentioned the following while talking about the energy challenge in Maldives:
The sun is not just for the tourists to enjoy. It is also our biggest energy resource.
Indeed a very true fact. About 70% of the sunlight coming into the earth lands on the ocean and most of that is captured in the surface layers of the ocean waters in the form of heat. This heat can be extracted from the ocean and converted into clean energy. That’s what Hawaii is doing.
Hawaii has inaugurated the world’s first operational Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plant. The plant however is small and can produce 100-kilowatts, but the opening of this facility is a remarkable achievement towards sustainable energy.
Even though the technology we rely on are advancing at the speed of light, we are still burning fossil fuels to power our lives. In a very short period of time, we have consumed an incredible amount of fossil fuels. It is a very dense form of energy which took millions of years to become so. The fact that the reserve of the fossil fuels are finite is the reason why the world is moving towards sustainable energy.
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a reliable and consistent alternative that can produce 100% clean energy 24 hours a day, unlike solar and wind.
Hawaii, like most of the countries, is heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels to meet its energy demand. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is something Hawaii can look forward to achieving their ambitious target of having 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.
OTEC International LLC marked Maldives as a potential OTEC market in a presentation given to the World Bank in December 2013. In South Asia: India, Sri Lanka and Maldives has the theoretical resource availability for OTEC, and Maldives has the lowest electricity consumption rate, due to our small population.
By using Ocean Thermal Electricity Conversion, the raising prices of the electricity will be reduced and the fact that there is a operational OTEC plant give us hope towards a sustainable future.