By the Numbers: Surprising Energy Sources and Technologies


With more than seven billion people on the planet and counting, we need to find new, clean ways of generating power to meet the growing demand for energy-dependent food and water production. Beyond traditional energy sources like coal, nuclear and hydroelectric dams, new technologies are revolutionizing the way we think about energy. Read on for our list of the top surprising energy sources and technologies.


Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, or OTEC, harnesses the temperature difference in the ocean as the primary “fuel.” The warm water from the surface is pumped through a heat exchanger, which vaporizes a low-boiling-point working fluid to drive a turbine generator, producing electricity. Colder, deep sea water is pumped through another heat exchanger, which condenses the vapor. The working fluid is returned to the first heat exchanger and the cycle repeats.

10 The potential number of megawatts that could be generated by an OTEC power plant Lockheed Martin is designing for Beijing-based Reignwood Group. This is the largest OTEC project to date and is considered a crucial step toward the full commercialization of OTEC.


Waste-to-energy technology creates energy by either the controlled combustion of bio waste or the conversion of bio waste into synthetic gas (syngas). This can directly fuel an internal combustion engine or be used as an intermediate to produce liquid or gaseous fuels.

9,000 The number of metric tons per year that our Owego, New York, biomass plant is reducing carbon emissions by. This is equivalent to removing 1,764 passenger vehicles from the road.


Tidal turbines work like an underwater wind turbine. The tides’ ebb and flow force the blades to spin, which rotate the turbine and activate a generator that produces electricity. The newest turbine will have active rotor pitch, where the blades can tilt and angle to the direction of the tides, and full nacelle yaw rotation – the ability to turn during any schedule of the tidal stream.

50 The percentage of homes in Scotland that can be powered by the MeyGen tidal stream project in Scotland’s Pentland Firth. Under development by Lockheed Martin and Atlantis Resources Ltd., this is currently the world’s largest tidal stream project.


New technology is increasing the prospects for wind energy development thanks to WindProspector®, which integrates WindTracer® Doppler lidar – already used at airports to measure aircraft wakes and report wind hazards. This includes 3-D wind maps, vertical shear information, time series measurements and measured power predictions.

9 The number of miles WindTracer scans to characterize wind resources. This technology makes wind farm data more accurate, lowering investment risk and making predictions for energy production more accurate.


Command and control technology typically associated with the military is being utilized to meet energy utility needs, providing real-time situational awareness and automated distribution management. The Smart Energy Enterprise Suite, or SEESuite™, helps utilities reduce electric load during times of peak usage and maintain grid stability as new sources of energy generation, storage and consumption come on line.

100,000 The number of homes that could be powered thanks to Lockheed Martin’s energy efficiency programs in 2013. These programs save electric and gas utility customers over a million megawatt-hours of electricity and more than ten million therms of gas.