Ideas for creating energy alternatives seem to spring up almost on a daily basis. Energy islands is one I've heard of a few times, and it's a pretty simple concept.
Differences in ocean temperatures are used to convert liquid ammonia to vapor which, in turn, expands to drive energy-producing turbines. The ammonia is then cooled via colder ocean temperatures (from about a mile below the surface) and the process is repeated. This process, called Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC for you acronym fans) conceivably works where ever there is a 20 degree or greater difference from surface water to that of the water one mile down.
An added plus to the method is the production of fresh water - two tons per person per day. A bit beyond the 8 cups a day the health professionals suggest we drink, so this generates a question -- if the water is returned to the ocean, will it again become salinated, or do we run the risk of running out of this resource, too?
According to the developers, one energy island could produce about 250MW of power, and 50,000 of the islands would meet the world's energy requirements.
Of course, no one will want to see one of these islands, it might ruin their view... cruise ships would have to dodge the islands and passengers would no doubt gripe about their impeded view... and we'd have to get that power to its destination...but hey. Someone is "out there" thinking, and that's what we need, people who will think outside the box.
Have you read a good energy-related story? I invite you to share it with the rest of us at PaganSpace via your blog.