Bluerise – An Ocean of Opportunities for the Energy Sector
This article is part of our series on the participants in this year’s Green Challenge Deep Dive at Rockstart. Our 10-day mini-accelerator allows the finalists of the Green Challenge 2014 to refine their business plan and work with our mentors in individualized training sessions. At the end of the program, the companies present their ideas in front of investors and their mentors.
Providing people with cool air, fresh water and enough energy to make a whole island independent from foreign power sources. The mission that Bluerise has set for themselves sounds substantial – but yet it all starts with just a simple pipe.
A very long pipe we might add, seeing that its final destination are the depths of the sea. Bluerise is working on energy systems, that are harnessing temperature differences between the ocean’s heated top layers and the ice cold bottom, to drive an energy generator. To do this, a large tube is lowered into the sea. Through it, water is pumped to the surface.
Imagine the ocean as a giant solar collector, covering over 70% of the earth, storing heat on the surface. When the cold ground water is pumped up, it passes the warm layer, creating steam and propelling a turbine. Additionally, the water can be used to provide air conditioning for buildings and processed into drinking water.
The underlying Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) process is not new technology. However, in the past it has been deemed too capital intensive to work on a large scale. Bluerise is now making use of state-of-the-art technology to make OTEC more efficient. Thanks to these advancements, OTEC is now considered to have the highest potential of all ocean energy technologies, with the possibility to meet seven times the current global energy demand.
With the highest temperature difference in the ocean worldwide, to Bluerise the tropics are the ideal place to start the development of facilities. Particularly islands are now facing a problem that the rest of the world will struggle with in the future: scarce resources. With Bluerise technology, islands and coastal regions are able to become fully energy independent and save up to 90% on electricity use related to cooling.
Currently, Bluerise is developing the first commercial OTEC plant close to the Curacao Airport, with more projects to follow. In the Green Challenge Deep Dive, the company wants to simplify their story and assess different financial opportunities.
Read more about other finalists of the Green Challenge 2014:
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