Ocean Ecopark

Ocean Ecopark

Netherlands AntillesDelft, Netherlands
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Bluerise develops Ocean Ecoparks, enabling islands and coastal regions to utilize a sustainable resource, accessible locally and matching their needs, called Ocean Thermal Energy. Ocean Ecoparks enable independence in energy, food & water supply.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

- Environmental: livelihoods in tropical islands are threatened by climate change-induced insecurities in energy, food and water supply; - Social: tropical islands have fragile, tourism dependent economies, which experience significant brain drain; - Economic: small islands are highly dependent on imports: in the island of Curacao energy related imports amount to more than USD5,000 per household per year.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our solution is the development of Ocean Ecoparks clustering sustainable technologies around the use of Ocean Thermal Energy in tropical coastal regions and islands: - Environmental: the oceans represent a vast and largely untapped source of energy. With the largest concentration of population in the world living within 100 kms of the coast in tropical regions, Ocean Thermal Energy matches with the needs, providing clean, sustainable energy, food and water production; -Social: Ocean Thermal Energy will enable higher standards of living with less impact on our environment; - Economic: Ocean Ecoparks provide a range of opportunities attracting new industries and research to diversify and enhance the island's economy.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

An Ocean Ecopark project enables significant reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions achieved in several ways. By means of energy efficiency, a seawater cooling system for the Curaçao airport can provide a reduction of over 4,600 tons of CO2/year. The 100kW OTEC power generation pilot plant, can be expected to provide reduction of approx. 420 tons of CO2/year. Significant savings in emissions will also be obtained given the reduction of transport associated with food and water imports. Last, Ocean Ecopark projects will create a positive economic impact by the reduction of oil (energy) and food imports, the improved water resource availability (for drinking and irrigation) and the increase of jobs and attraction of new industry.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Islands and communities for electricity production depend solely on import of Diesel or Heavy Fuel Oil. Wind and solar energy can only cover a small fraction of the total electricity usage due to their intermittency, predictability and the connection to grids which are not designed to handle this type of fluctuating loads. Ocean Thermal Energy, with its low-cost, day and night generation capabilities will significantly contribute to a sustainable energy, water and food supply. It is a true complementary solution.
About You
About You
First Name

Berend Jan

Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name


Organization Country

, ZH, Delft

Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Your Solution
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

Growing up in the Netherlands surrounded by water has shaped my life. Since a young age I have been sailing and this has led me to appreciate and discover what the ocean can bring.

During my studies at Delft University of Technology I noticed the promising combination of energy and water technology. I was fortunate to be selected to join a prestigious university project on Ocean Thermal Energy, which was where I found my passion for this technology. Since them I am 100% dedicated to make Ocean Thermal Energy a reality, unlock its potential and achieve a positive global impact.

Today, I am co-founder of Bluerise, composed of a highly motivated team to help islands make the transition towards 100% renewable-energy economies.

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Nutrition, Water, Greenhouse Gases, Sustainable Agriculture.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

Bluerise develops its products and services for tropical islands and coastal regions, including the so-called SIDS, or Small Island Developing States. These regions, with its population centers near the coast, which are now experiencing the greatest growing energy demands, also have the advantage of the ideal conditions for fully deploying Ocean Thermal Energy to meet their needs.

We have an active presence in the Caribbean and are in close contact with the utilities and governments.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?

Since the summer of 2010 we are working closely with Curaçao Airport on the Ocean Ecopark project meant to provide the Airport premises with renewable energy from the ocean.

We advised the airport and local stakeholders about the unique resource Curaçao has access to: the ocean. We organized a workshop at the University of Curaçao engaging interested students, enthusiasts and industry, and discussed with them the economical and educational value of an Ocean Ecopark project for the island. The project has been also presented to broader audiences during the energy conference organized by the Curaçao government in 2012.

We have advanced the technology to enable economic use of the Ocean Thermal resource and completed a feasibility study for the Ocean Ecopark project. Currently, we are preparing for the development and construction phase of the Ocean Ecopark.

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

Our approach is to create an organic growth of systems from smaller markets to large industrial installations. Our particular arrangement of proven technologies and mature “off-the-shelf” components allow for an economically attractive solution.

Currently, we are preparing for the development and construction phase of the Ocean Ecopark. For this we are in contact with partners in the value chain, from component suppliers to financial partners and tenants. Potential tenants we are talking to are local and international aquaculture companies, drink-water production, algae biofuel producers and R&D facilities.

The award will be used to educate and engage stakeholders, governments, decision-makers and future partners for our projects.

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

Bluerise has devised a particular Ocean Ecopark business model in which the ocean resource is used to its highest potential and thus the different components, like the pipe, are paid for by a host of industries and parties that can derive value from them.

Given the fact that most islands in the tropics are fully dependent on oil for their energy and cooling needs we are able to propose an economically attractive solution.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Being a passionate sailor I love to play with the force of nature and experience it. In combination with my curiosity to find solutions to our large problems, I became involved in various energy and education related initiatives that are now self-sustaining. An example is a wind turbine that I built and that currently operates at my university campus challenging students to tweak it. Since three years I am co-founder of Bluerise.