After nearly 8 years of hard work bringing the OTEC community closer, the OTEC Foundation has ceased operating, however, many of its resources and legacy remain in through the OTEA.
In 1989 the International OTEC Association (chaired by Michel Gauthier) was founded by a group of 50 OTEC experts from all over the world to cooperate and share knowledge in the field of OTEC and deep ocean water applications. The website otecnews.org was opened in 2001 by Thomas Bjelkeman, providing the latest news on OTEC and related technologies. The Japanese Organization for Promotion of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OPOTEC) was founded in 2005, focusing more on doing research and stimulating the commercialization of OTEC. The Ocean Energy Institute, founded by Matthew Simmons in 2007 operated a think tank and venture capital fund addressing the challenges of U.S. offshore renewable energy. In 2011 OTEC Africa, a combined aid and development project, was established to promote OTEC towards developing aid agencies.
Over the last years, the role of social media has become visible: OTEC has its own group on both Facebook and LinkedIn, with over 250 members. In particular the OTEC LinkedIn group provides a central place to share information, discuss about OTEC, and cluster as professional community working on or interested in OTEC.
In addition to the independent OTEC initiatives, regional and national governments have also made their contribution to the development of OTEC. Usually in cooperation with academics, governments facilitated and financed research and pilot projects. The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Indian National Institute of Ocean Technology are good examples. The Ocean Energy Systems is an intergovernmental organization established by the International Energy Agency in Paris, also aims at knowledge sharing in the field of ocean energy systems.
In order to assist the OTEC sector as a whole, a collaborative initiative was initiated to stimulate OTEC developments, the “OTEC foundation”. The OTEC foundation served as a portal centralizing all relevant information and will be managing and updating the OTEC news website, http://www.otecnews.org, and the OTEC LinkedIn Group.
After formation of the Ocean Thermal Energy Association, the resources of the OTEC Foundation team are continuing under administration and support of the OTEA.