been on using the numerical models to estimate the back effects of plant operation on the thermal resources. As the back effects on the thermal resource will be the limiting factor on OTEC plant spacing in both the coastal and open ocean environments, models of the flow around OTEC plants must be developed to understand potential impacts on the ocean. Site-specific studies would be needed to evaluate current (including tidal) and storm vulnerability, as well as distance from shore.

Recommendation: Any future studies of the U.S. OTEC resource should focus on Hawaii and Puerto Rico, where there is both a potential thermal resource and a demand for electricity.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement