Norway opens first osmotic power plant

Nov. 24, 2009 at 12:21 PM

TOFTE, Norway, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A Norwegian power company announced Tuesday Norway's Crown Princess Mette-Marit will head the opening of the world's first osmotic power plant.

Statkraft, Europe's largest renewable energy company, said the plant at Tofte, outside Oslo, will generate power by using the energy produced when fresh water and seawater are mixed, the Norway Post reported.

Osmotic power is an emissions-free energy source that will make a global contribution to eco-friendly power production, Statkraft said, adding it has been researching osmotic power for 10 years.

"In an era of major climate change and an increasing need for clean energy, we are proud to be presenting a renewable energy source which has never been harnessed until now. We are also most grateful that the crown princess wishes to lend her support to this milestone in our development of osmotic power," Statkraft CEO Bard Mikkelsen, said.

Statkraft said the plant is intended mostly for testing and development purposes, with the goal of building a commercial plant within a few years.

Osmotic power's global potential is estimated to be equivalent to 50 percent of the EU's total power production.

Osmotic power plants can, theoretically be built wherever fresh water runs into the sea, and they produce no noise or pollution emissions, the Norway Post reported.

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