Jul 25 2012

Cost and Economics

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The cost for subsidized wind systems is $0.05 - $0.07 kWh

Researchers and developers believe OTEC will require a tax and subsidy treatment like those of competing power sources to be viable in the marketplace (Burgess, 2012). With low deployment compared to traditional energy-harvesting methods, costs fluctuate for each proposed facility based on size and location, as discussed in “Current Installations.” Estimates place power generation at a price as low as $0.07 per kWh (Handwerk, 2012).

The cost of OTEC is offset by long term benefits, the first being that OTEC systems generate no waste and require no fuel to operate (“OTEC demonstration”). OTEC also gains support as it is free from the geopolitics of the dwindling petroleum supply. Systems are able to be developed to work with other offshore energy systems like wave and tidal energy. Also, as said before, OTEC can provide potable water, which is key to many of the areas it would be suitable for development.

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