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The sea is a warehouse of natural resources central to the future of Haiti. The implementation of the Energinat deep ocean water (DOW) projects will provide electricity, fresh water, air conditioning, agriculture and aquaculture, with little or no greenhouse gas emissions. These projects will spawn immense economic, social and environmental benefits for the country. Indeed, significant benefits both economic and in terms of quality of life would accrue from the reduced environmental impacts. 

Firstly, Electricity and Fresh Water; Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a process which utilizes the temperature difference between warm surface seawater and cold deep ocean water to drive turbines to generate electricity and produce pure fresh water as a bonus by-product. Using the sun for its heat source, the OTEC process is free of the emissions associated with fossil fuel electricity generation and, because of the vast amount of stored energy in the warm latitudes, is potentially one of the earth's greatest source of non-polluting power. The potential of OTEC to curb greenhouse gases will be a long term benefit for the well being of the local population and for the planet as a whole. OTEC to supply clean power and pure fresh water without fossil fuel emissions will make Haiti be part of the drive to reduce greenhouse gases and show solidarity with the rest of humanity. Also, the pure fresh water generated by OTEC plants can eventually be used for the production of hydrogen via electrolysis to power cars, buses, motorcycles and even boats equipped with fuel cells, which would further reduce carbon emissions.

Secondly, DOW is very nutrient rich. In locations where natural ocean upwellings bring up DOW to the surface, these nutrients are processed by phytoplankton, using the energy of the sun through photosynthesis. Phytoplankton serves as root of the food chain for other plants and animals in the sea. Upwellings therefore generate very high levels of ocean life compared to most other areas of the ocean. Phytoplankton, in addition to being the basic nutrient for most sea animals, will contribute to reducing greenhouse gases by absorbing millions of tons of carbon dioxide. Hence upwelling areas become very effective atmospheric carbon sinks as well as productive fisheries. This has led to discussion of the values of creating artificial upwellings to reduce levels of atmospheric carbon.

The DOW water an OTEC plant uses serves the dual purpose of cooling the electrical generation process and reducing the steam created in the process of pure fresh water production.  It can also serve as an artificial upwelling to create a local phytoplankton carbon sink or reservoir as it is discharged back into the ocean.  In the future OTEC plants will be sited in the open ocean to graze the heat of warmer latitudes.  These will be of a order of magnitude larger and the discharges will be the size of very large rivers, large enough to foster extensive areas of fertilized seawater ready to serve to expand sea-life populations and serve as carbon sinks.  Tethered close enough to ship electricity and fresh water to shore they could serve coastal cities with these products and enrich near-shore waters.

In the case of Haiti which would probably use on-shore closed-cycle OTEC plants, the ‘used’ DOW water with its rich nutrients mostly intact can be discharged along the near shore or in a bay to enhance the production of local phytoplankton blooms and other sea life.  On the way to these areas it can support a sizable economically and environmentally sustainable community.

The 'necklace' of sustainable DOW communities planned by Energinat in this website will feature many other environmental enhancing features.  These communities will be lighted and powered by OTEC and cooled by DOW air conditioning.  Lush plantations will be cultivated in these coastal desert locations using the cold agriculture technology (which require little, if any, irrigation, as the DOW in pipes buried in the soil spawn abundant fresh  water condensation) and productive aquaculture enterprises established, all relatively emission free. Such plantations will also contribute to reducing greenhouse gases by removing significant quantities of carbon dioxide.

Thirdly, Haiti relies on imported fossil fuel for all of its transportation systems and most of its electrical generation. The country has no petroleum resources and little hydroelectricity potential. Furthermore, the exploration by international development agencies of alternative sources of energy in Haiti, such as wind power, solar power and power generation from organic waste, which are intermittent producers of electricity, has found that none appears to be immediately feasible. Utilizing cold deep ocean water (DOW) for air conditioning can save as much as 90% of the energy cost compared to typical compressor type cooling systems. Cooling with DOW is both inexpensive and environmentally sound, as it uses chilled fresh water as a cooling fluid with no emissions. Thus, use of the cold deep seawater, with a fresh water loop, for cooling would replace, at greatly reduced costs, much of the fossil fuel energy, that would be used in urban homes, buildings and hotels, thereby causing further significant reductions in carbon emissions.

Finally, the maritime transportation system planned by Energinat in this website, in contrast to the existing road transportation system of Haiti, is another means of conserving energy and reducing significantly consumption of fossil fuels and emissions of atmospheric carbon. Indeed, as described in the "Sea Transportation" section of the website, all coastal cities, towns and villages of the country are to be connected by a small fleet of high speed SLICE ferryboats. The SLICE ship has a twin hull and four submerged lower mini-hulls that act as mini-submarines, which produce less drag. This structure allows the SLICE hull to reduce wave-making resistance at high speeds by up to 35% and go faster with the same horsepower, thereby reducing fossil fuel consumption. This craft is an optimum affordable ship that operates at high speed in rough seas with outstanding stability and can be used as a fast commuter ferry capable of transporting up to 400 passengers.

 

For all these reasons, Energinat is contemplating establishing a carbon trade niche and applying for carbon funding. Carbon credits can be sold on the Chicago Climate Exchange, the European Climate Exchange and the soon-to-be-created Montreal Carbon Exchange; also, the Dubai Mercantile Exchange and the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) will soon start trading in carbon credits. Funding can be obtained from the World Bank, one of the main players in carbon financing, whose carbon finance fund has more than doubled from US$415 million in 2004 to US$915 million in 2005. The Bank believes the carbon market has the potential to bring more than US$30 billion by 2006 in new financing for sustainable development to the poorest countries and the developing world. The Bank is also finalizing details on a new Carbon Partnership Facility (CPF) to support developing countries in their moves towards lower carbon development paths.  As noted by World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick, "developing countries will earn money and obtain clean technology in exchange for the greenhouse gas emission reductions they will sell to developed countries. The World Bank estimates developing countries will need investments in the neighborhood of US$100 billion per year over the next 25 years to meet their energy needs through low-carbon means." Funding can also be obtained from investment banks, such as Citibank and Bank of America which have announced a commitment of US$50 billion and US$20 billion, respectively, over the next decade to environmental projects moving away from fossil fuels.

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