OTEC, or ocean thermal energy conversion, takes advantage of the ocean’s natural thermal gradient to convert solar radiation to electric power. This technology could be addressed with your students in the context of thermohaline circulation and the role of water as an energy agent.
The following organizations have some teacher-friendly OTEC resources:
NREL website includes an OTEC thermal resource map, showing where OTEC potential is greatest.
US Dept of Energy website includes information on the types of OTEC systems and the environmental and economic challenges of OTEC.