[NOAA]: Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is a marine renewable energy technology that uses the temperature gradients in the ocean to generate a baseload, or constant, source of electricity. Other renewable energy sources such as wind and wave energy, are intermittent sources of electricity, meaning that the amount of electricity they generate may be variable due to weather conditions.
OTEC technology uses the temperature differential between the deep cold and relatively warmer surface waters of the ocean to generate electricity. The technology is potentially viable in tropical areas where the year-round temperature differential between the deep cold and warm surface waters is greater than 20 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit). In addition to generating electricity, OTEC has the potential to produce other products such as potable water, hydrogen, and ammonia. The cold water can also be used for other commercial products such as water air conditioning and aquaculture.