(Date 25th of May 2016)
The environmental center was on a trip to Japan in May 2016 to study marine energy and marine research. The main goal was the University of Tokyo, but there was also time for a trip south to Okinawa and the small island of Kumejima one hour flight west of the ocean.
At Kumejima there is an OTEC plant that produces about 100 kW of electricity continuously by heat exchange between cold deep water and hot surface water. The plant was established in 2013 and is part of the Deep Sea Water Center on the island. After the depth of 600 m deep is useful in the OTEC plant, it goes on to other companies in the center. Deep water is attractive, both because it is cold and because it is sterile and contains soft nutrient salts. Thus it can be used in controlled bioproduction on land, of algae, seaweed and tare, seafood, coral and vegetables. Noko of the water benefits from the cooling of the barley, and is probably desalinated, add portions of the extracted salt again and sold as mineral water (health food). Another company uses deepwater to make medicines and cosmetic products.
In this way, a gardenergy plant in this case contributes to generate various additional activities, see the photo below. In the area, 300 people work and turnover is on several billion yen. The OTEC plant should be expanded to 1 MW. This will also provide more deep water so that bioproduction can increase. We had a meeting at the OTEC center and with 5-6 of the deepwater utilities. There was great interest in cooperation with Norway, as the Environmental Center will follow.
Links to more information:
Deep sea water research institute, Kumejima:
For more information, contact L. Golmen, 47890957.