First osmotic power prototype opens in Norway

by Antonio Pasolini on November 25, 2009

Source: Statkraft

Source: Statkraft

Statkraft, an European renewable energy company, opened yesterday what it calls “the world’s first osmotic prototype plant”. The event was attended by several international journalists and members of the Norwegian royal family.

The plant generates power by exploiting the energy available when fresh water and seawater are mixed. Osmotic power is a renewable and emissions-free energy source that Statkraft has been researching for 10 years. The company claims this type of renewable energy will be capable of making a substantial global contribution to eco-friendly power production.

“This new technology generates electricity simply by mixing water. New solutions to meet the climate challenges might be closer than we expect, which makes me confident that the future looks bright,” said Statkraft CEO and President, Bård Mikkelsen.

The prototype will have a limited production capacity and is intended primarily for testing and development purposes. The aim is to be capable of constructing a commercial osmotic power plant within a few years’ time.

The global potential of osmotic power is estimated to be 1,600-1,700 TWh per annum, equivalent to 50 percent of the EU’s total power production. Osmotic power plants can, in principle, be located wherever fresh water runs into the sea; they produce no noise or polluting emissions and they can be integrated into existing industrial zones, for example, in the basements of industrial buildings.

Statkraft has been researching osmotic power since 1997 and has developed this prototype in cooperation with several international organisations.

Video about osmotic power:

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