In November 2009, Norwegian state owned electricity company Statkraft opened the world’s first osmotic power plant prototype
, which generates electricity from the difference in the salt concentration between river water and sea water. While osmotic power is a clean, renewable energy source, its commercial use has been limited due to the low generating capacities offered by current technology – the Statkraft plant, for example, has a capacity of about 4 kW. Now researchers have discovered a new way to harness osmotic power that they claim would enable a 1 m2
(10.7 sq. ft.) membrane to have the same 4 kW capacity as the entire Statkraft plant.