Mark, British Columbia could have all of the jobs and tax revenue it ever needed without a carbon tax simply by capitalizing on its own homegrown technology to produce close to twice the renewable energy as the world currently uses in total. Though local waters aren't conducive to ocean thermal energy conversion, we have invested heavily in the Hydrogen Economy and OTEC facilitates this because an energy carrier is required to bring mid-ocean generated power to shore.
The current biggest impediment to hydrogen is the cost of production. Currently the cheapest method is steam reforming of hydrocarbons but the only reason this is true is because there is no accounting for the CO2 that is the byproduct.
The following is a recent analysis I did for electrolysis with OTEC. The cost of the infrastructure is twice the cost of a 100MW plant without electrolyzers, the energy conversion is twice as efficient as gasoline and it takes 50kilowatts to produce a kilogram of hydrogen. The return of $5.47/kilogram for hydrogen equates to $2.73/gallon for gas or about 74 cents a liter - taxes and transportation costs out.
Cost $Capacity EfficiencyHrsDaysYearsRate/KWhrTotal ReturnEROI 1,000,000,000200090.00%2436560 5.47 5,175,057,6005.17 1,000,000,000200090.00%24365100 5.47 8,625,096,0008.62
(The table doesn't translate well but the ROI's for 60 and 100 year plant life is 5.17 and 8.62 respectively.)
As Geoffrey Styles, recently posted the return on investment for oil wells in the Bakken field is 3.
For British Columbians a comparison with the Site C dam is revealing. This 900 MW dam is currently projected to cost $7.9 billion or $877 million per 100MW and would operate for about 100 years.
A first of kind 100MW OTEC plant - without electrolyzers - can be built for about $500 million and would operate from between 60 and 100 years.
BC hydro's current capacity is 11,000 MW.
OTEC's potential is over two orders of magnitude higher 30 TW.
It is quite the jobs and economic plan that essentially forecloses this option.