Review of Resources from the Perspective of Wave, Tidal, and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion
Keywords:Ocean energy, resource assessment, theoretical resource, technical resource, practical resource
The conversion of Ocean Renewable Energy (ORE) sources to electricity could meet increasing energy demand and diversify the energy supply in Malaysia. Possessing a long coastline overlooking the South China Sea (SCS) and the Malacca strait has encouraged the Malaysian government to promote ORE and assess available resources to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. However, most of the previous attempts to assess the potential of Malaysian ORE resources have focused primarily on theoretical resource assessment, which in practice may not reflect the viability and suitability of the resource. Other technical and practical issues must be accounted for as well. This paper presents a brief description of ORE conversion technologies and reviews the existing studies on regional ORE resources in Malaysia with an emphasis dedicated to wave energy, tidal energy, and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). It also highlights the essential technical and practical constraints limiting or excluding the utilization of ORE sources. While some ORE resources, particularly the OTEC, appear to be theoretically promising for exploitation in Malaysia, this review has shown a lack of precise resource mapping linked to socio-economic and environmental constraints.