Norway cranks up prototype power plant run by osmosis

Ain’t any cloud of smoke hovering overhead either!

Norway has opened the world’s first osmotic power plant, which produces emissions-free electricity by mixing fresh water and sea water through a special membrane.

State-owned utility Statkraft’s prototype plant, which for now will produce a tiny 2-4 kilowatts of power or enough to run a coffee machine, will enable Statkraft to test and develop the technology needed to drive down production costs.

The plant is driven by osmosis that naturally draws fresh water across a membrane and toward the seawater side. This creates higher pressure on the sea water side, driving a turbine and producing electricity…

Statkraft, Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy with experience in hydropower that provides nearly all of Norway’s electricity, aims to begin building commercial osmotic power plants by 2015…

Osmotic power, which can be located anywhere where clean fresh water runs into the sea, is seen as more reliable than more variable wind or solar energy.

Cripes – it’s been too many decades since I encountered osmosis. Reverse osmosis, pressure-driven, is pretty common here in high desert country. Purifying brackish underground reservoirs into potable water.

RTFA. Sounds interesting and productive.

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