Mitsui O.S.K. Lines is focusing on Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), which is a technology that uses the temperature difference between the upper and lower layers of the ocean to generate electricity. This renewable energy source is one of several possibilities that the ocean provides, including wave power, ocean currents, and tidal currents. OTEC technology is particularly advantageous because it provides a steady power output that is not easily affected by weather or time of day. It is also easy to operate, maintain, and inspect, and takes up minimal space. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines is taking advantage of the vast amount of solar energy stored in the oceans by operating a 100-kW OTEC test facility on the island of Kumejima, Okinawa Prefecture since April 2022. They are also planning to open a 1-MW power station by FY2026.
Another benefit of OTEC is its capability to reuse deep ocean water for multiple purposes. For instance, cold water with temperatures ranging from 5ºC to 7ºC can be utilized to cool air-conditioning systems in hotels or data centers. Additionally, the nutrient-rich and pure water could be suitable for aquaculture or crop cultivation. The minerals and nutrients present in the deep ocean water are being studied for potential applications in various areas, such as microalgae farming, beauty, and healthcare.
When envisioning the future of our planet, considering the integration of land and sea can offer valuable insights. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Group aims to establish a sustainable society through a new economic model that leverages the benefits of the sea and brings them onshore.