OTEC Of Interest To Barbados, Region

Minister of Energy in Barbados, Senator Darcy Boyce, recognises the potential of Ocean Thermal Energy: “We are particularly interested in OTEC systems which, not only produce base load electricity, but also cold water which may be used for air-conditioning, which creates a heavy demand for expensive electricity”.
He noted that the CARICOM Energy Policy had also urged Member States to keep abreast of developments in renewable energy resources such as Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, ocean waves, tides and currents.
“Our government has recognised that at present, marine energy technologies are new, but advancing towards commercialisation. We are cognisant of the fact that the cost of marine energy technologies is high, but that the research to date shows that there is scope for the lowering of these costs as compared to the costs of other forms of electricity generation. The scope for such is particularly favourable in the Caribbean where the cost of electricity generation is high,” he said.

Barbados Minister of Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce
Barbados Minister of Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce

The Energy Minister disclosed 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”.
With OTEC also of interest because of the potentially beneficial by-products produced by electricity, the Minister surmised that it was critical that the technology be explored.
He disclosed that Barbados was already a recipient of a desk top study on this technology through the SIDS-DOCK (Sustainable Energy Initiative) mechanism, using Japanese experts.
The study, he added, suggests that a 10 megawatt OTEC plant is technically viable but, given the heavy investment required, its commercial viability would have to be investigated carefully. “We need to have a better understanding of these opportunities”, he stated.
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