Ocean Renewable Energy: The Next Frontier?
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) Christopher D. Barry and Paul Kamen of the Ocean Renewable Energy Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers have scribed a fascinating, 26-page “Overview of Ocean Renewable Energy,” which includes a look at the potential for marine biofuels.
The authors write, ” One of the more exotic possibilities for ocean based energy is marine biofuels. In a sense this is hardly new – whale oil was the first high grade hydrocarbon and the petroleum industry can be credited with saving whales from extinction. Even now, oil from processed fish is burned aboard catcher processors to provide energy for processing. However, the most promising marine biofuel is giant kelp (Macrocytis ), which can provide the same sort of cellulosic feedstock as agricultural waste and grasses. READ MORE Download study
Excerpt from “Overview of Ocean Renewable Energy”:
Basic economics tells us that we should consider all of the costs of a good to ensure that it is at the “right” price that includes all “external” costs and benefits. The “right” price then sends a signal to engage in the Pareto optimum level of activity producing that good and any competitive or substitutional goods.
Maintaining the military (and engaging in action) to ensure access to foreign supplies of oil is probably the most obvious external cost, but there are others, especially for any good that has become highly integrated into society. In the case of fossil fuels, various types of pollution and their effects on health constitute costs that do not appear at the pump or the electric meter. READ MORE