Ocean Energy: Forms and Prospects

Science  18 Jan 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4428, pp. 265-273
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4428.265


The nature and distribution of power sources of the sea other than petroleum are discussed, along with possible entrées for their use. Waves, tides, currents, and salinity and temperature gradients all have the potential to contribute useful power. Submarine geothermal sources, salt domes, ice, and other marine-associated concentrations may be more important. There are opportunities to employ these marine power resources directly rather than for contributions to power grids or power-intensive products. Ancillary employment of the seawater as a coolant and of the sediments below the seabed for the disposal of nuclear wastes may be even more important uses than employment of the power that the sea contains.