Norway Makes Power From Seawater

The Norwegian renewable energy company Statkraft has opened a prototype power plant that produces power from seawater.

The plant, which should produce between 2 and 4 kilowatts, will cost approximately $8 million, and is expected to be followed by other plants using the same technology. Although the concept strikes many as wacky, it is gaining traction among researchers and desalination companies because generating power from osmotic pressure gradients is really an extension of reverse osmosis desalination.

“You have the potential of approximately 2,000 terawatt hours a year globally. Any place you have a stream going into the sea you have potential energy,” Peter Holme Jensen, a microbiologist turned CEO of Aquaporin told us last year. Statkraft puts the figure at 1,600 terawatt hours. That’s about half of the power consumed in Europe a year, but that 1,600 to 2,000 terawatt hour potential is worldwide, not located just in Europe

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