Grenada Starts Conversations About Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion
Focusing on its renewable energy transition, the government of Grenada held a roundtable discussion on Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), under the banner of the Global Ocean Energy Alliance (GLOEA).
The meeting occurred in the margins of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)-Caribbean Cooperation for Fostering Energy Transition Investments and Finance, on the 1st of June, in Barbados. The UK-based ocean energy company Global OTEC presented its current projects, highlighting the potential of the Caribbean islands to be powered by the ocean.
Like many other tropical islands, Grenada is almost 100% reliant on imported fossil fuels for electricity generation. This leaves the country vulnerable to global oil price fluctuations that directly affect the electricity costs and distribution. OTEC, the ocean energy system that uses the temperature difference between the warm surface and cold deep seawater to generate electricity is a great alternative for a clean future. This innovative technology has the potential to provide renewable energy for communities across the world located near the tropical area of the ocean.
Dominique, a 1.5 Megawatt (MW) floating OTEC facility
During the roundtable, Global OTEC presented Dominique, a 1.5 Megawatt (MW) floating OTEC facility being readied for deployment in 2025, in the African islands of São Tomé and Príncipe. “The understandable thing about a floating OTEC facility is that it operates like a traditional oil platform, the difference is that we are pumping ocean water, not oil. This is the defining and innovative feature of OTEC technology, as it provides clean, environmentally friendly energy that can supply baseload power, 24/7, all year round”, explained Dan Grech, Global OTEC Founder and CEO.
Honorable Kerryne James, Minister of Climate Resilience, the Environment and Renewable Energy of Grenada mentioned that previous desk studies conducted by the SIDS DOCK Secretariat and its partners show seven Caribbean countries with significant OTEC potential: Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, and St. Lucia. “A major advantage of OTEC technology is its potential for desalination. This process can provide a sustainable source of fresh water for communities in coastal regions, that we all desperately need as we are now collectively suffering from droughts”, she ended.
The OTEC project being developed by São Tomé and Príncipe government, SIDS DOCK and Global OTEC, is supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Green Climate Fund (GCF)-funded United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Global Network of Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC) projects under the Strategic program to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in the electricity sector of São Tomé and Príncipe and Building institutional capacity for a renewable energy and energy efficiency investment program for São Tomé and Príncipe. Both projects foresee support for the development of innovative renewable energy investment projects, including ocean energy, and assist the country to position itself as a hub for ocean energy technology demonstration. The project will become an important demonstration within the GN-SEC makerspace and will benefit SIDS, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Coastal Nations.
*Photo credit: Honourable Kerryne James, Minister of Climate Resilience, the Environment and Renewable Energy of Grenada; His Excellency Mr. Brian Challenger, Policy Adviser on Energy to the Ministry of Public Utilities, Civil Aviation, Transport and Energy of Antigua and Barbuda; Dr Indra Haraksingh, lecturer from the Department of Physics within the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST), The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago, and a leading Caribbean scholar and advocate for renewable energy; Mr. Herbert A. Samuel, Project Coordinator, Geothermal Energy, Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transport and Implementation, Government of Grenada; Dr. Donneil Cain, Senior Project Development Specialist/Economist, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC); Mrs. Merina Jessamy, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment and Renewable Energy of Grenada; John Bowleg, AEES Consulting Group, The Bahamas; Delano Arthur, Commissioner, Energy and Utilities, Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands; Hayden Ashfield, Global OTEC Special Advisor; Dan Grech, Global OTEC Founder and CEO.