What is meant by ocean thermal energy? Explain how ocean thermal energy can be used to generate electricity.

The energy present due to the difference in the temperature of water at the upper surface and the deeper layers of ocean is known as ocean thermal energy.

Ocean thermal energy is used to produce electricity in an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion power plant. A temperature difference of 20°C or more between the surface water and deeper water is needed for the working of these plants. The warm surface water of ocean is used to boil a liquid like ammonia or chlorofluorocarbon. The high pressure of liquid vapors is used to turn the turbine of a generator and produce electricity.