World Ocean Thermal Energy (OTEC)

L. David Roper
6 April, 2016


Ocean-thermal-energy installations have barely gotten started. This is an attempt to project world ocean-thermal-energy installations into the future.

Two good sources of information about world tidal energy are:

  1. What is Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (This potential is estimated to be about 1013 watts of baseload power generation.)

I use the data from those sources in this calculation.

Fit to the Data

For the next decade world ocean-thermal-energy growth will grow approximately exponentially. Of course, at some future time it has to level off. The hyperbolic-tangent function is a good function for fitting physical data that start off exponentially and approach an asymptote exponentially, such as is expected for renewable energy.

The fits given here involve fitting the hyperbolic-tangent function,


by varying its three parameters to the estimated solar-photovoltaic-energy consumed in Terrawatt-hours each year.

Ocean-thermal-energy is in such an early stage of exponential growth that fitting the yearly data does not determined the eventual amount to be produced.

This shows the fit to the world tidal-energy data for an asymptotic value of 65,000 Terrawatt-hours per year.

This shows the projection of the fit into the future.


The future availability of ocean-thermal energy is roughly estimated.

World Renewable Energy

L. David Roper Interdisplinary Studies