Dutch Delta Works
Blue Energy from Holland
Blue Energy will succeed in generating energy for 8 cents per kilowatt-hour for half a million households in the Netherlands.
In this test plant at the Afsluitdijk the joining of river and sea water is used to generate green power. This is because by using cleverly designed membranes (special filters), you can generate electricity directly from the difference in salt concentration. Researchers from the University of Twente’s MESA+ research institute supplied the knowledge for the membranes and the technology for this power station.
In the future it will be possible to generate ten percent of the Dutch energy consumption via this technology. With its large rivers such as the Rhine and the Meuse, the Netherlands has great potential in this area. The University of Twente makes an important contribution to the research and the further development of the plant.
Cheap clean blue energy
The expectation is that Blue Energy will succeed in generating energy for 8 cents per kilowatt-hour (without subsidies). Solar and wind energy are currently a lot more expensive, energy from petroleum is still cheaper at the moment.
In addition, Blue Energy can be generated continually, contrary to solar and wind energy, which are both dependent on availability and the weather. The total quantity of electricity that could be generated on the Afsluitdijk is equal to 1200 billion AA batteries a year, or, in other words, sufficient for the energy requirements of 500,000 households. It is potentially possible to generate the entire electricity consumption worldwide with Blue Energy.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander put the world’s first blue-energy RED power plant to use on November 26, 2014. The plant is located on the closure dam Afsluitdijk, the Netherlands, and produces electricity directly from the difference in salt concentration in the surface water on each side of the dam.
Theoretically, with 1m3/s river water and an equal amount of sea water approximately 1 MW of renewable electricity can be recovered.
The pilot plant on the Afsluitdijk is to produce 50 kW blue-energy per hour and will show the technical feasibility in real life conditions using fresh IJsselmeer water and salt water from the Wadden Sea.
Big potential energy source
At the current location on the closure dam Afsluitdijk, the potential production of blue-energy can be sufficient for the energy requirements of 500,000 households.
An exploration of suitable rivers in the world shows that there is a potential electricity production of 1,600 TWh annually.