Japan plans to develop a deep sea water project in Indonesia with a goal of producing renewable energy and electrify remote islands in the country.
Deep sea water technology is coming to Indonesia, courtesy of Japan.
Japan is reportedly eyeing to develop a deep sea water project in the Morotai Island with a goal of producing renewable energy and electrify remote islands in the country.
The island, according to Maritime and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, has been identified as one of the 12 integrated fishery centres (SKPT) in the country. The SKPT programme was launched by the ministry to attract investment and optimise the region's business potential, Antara News reported.
The programme has attracted interest from Japan, which has offered the deep sea water technology that "takes advantage of the temperature difference between the sun-warmed surface water and cold deep water to generate electricity."
Bramantyo Satyamurti Poewardi, director general of the ministry's sea management, said the cold deep water could also be used for tuna farming.
"This technology will be in grant and not a loan. It's a G to G (government to government) project," he noted, according to SindoNews.
Japan, which built its first research facility in 1989 at Cape Muroto in Kochi Prefecture, is considered by experts to be at the forefront of deep sea water research. According to geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor, Japan has already made steady progress in developing the technology needed to exploit unconventional deep-water materials, and it expects to begin trial operations in Japanese waters by the end of 2017.
In 2014, Toshiba and IHI partnered with Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) to launch a research program that will investigate underwater current power by floating kite turbines.
"The unique 'underwater floating type ocean current turbine system' will demonstrate power generation in a real ocean environment, in a project expected to continue until 2017," Toshiba said in a statement. "The research work is expected to prove the viability of ocean energy power generation and to create the framework for an industry, and also to contribute to improved energy security for Japan."
Figure 1: Underwater floating type ocean current turbine system (Source: Toshiba)
The viability and practicality of larger commercial operations have yet to be proven, but they are projected to start in the 2020s, according to the think tank. China and India have also passed national initiatives to encourage work on deep-sea mining technology, though they continue to lag behind Japan.