|The world’s first osmotic power plant at Tofte, outside Oslo.|
On Tuesday, 24 November, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway will be opening the world’s first osmotic power plant at Tofte, outside Oslo.
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 into for 10 years and that will be capable of making a substantial global contribution to eco-friendly power production.
“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,” says Statkraft CEO, Bård Mikkelsen.
The prototype that will be opened at Tofte on 24 November has been in development for more than a year. The plant 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 R&D organisations from many countries. The project has attracted a lot of interest both in Norway and abroad and a number of foreign guests are expected to attend the opening.
Statkraft is Europe’s largest renewable energy company. The group develops and generates hydropower, wind power, gas power and district heating, and is a major player on the European power exchanges. Statkraft also develops marine energy, osmotic power, solar power and other innovative energy solutions. In 2008 Statkraft posted gross operating revenues of EUR 3.1 billion. The group employs 3,200 staff in more than 20 countries.