The Norwegian company Statkraft opens the world’s first facility for osmotic power generation. Statkraft says a full-scale commercial osmotic power plant could be ready by 2015.
Osmotic power could contribute around 1,600 TWh on a global basis annually. Only in Norway osmotic power has the potential to cover 10 percent of the total power consumption.
Osmotic power is based on the natural process of osmosis. In an osmotic power plant, seawater and fresh water are separated by a membrane. The seawater draws the fresh water through the membrane, thereby increasing the pressure on the seawater side. The increased pressure is used to produce power.
The Statkraft prototype plant is built at the paper pulp manufacturer Sodra
Cell Tofte’s plant at Hurum in Buskerud, Norway. The location will provide the osmotic plant with a good supply of fresh water and seawater, along with access to the established infrastructure.