What Is Blue Energy?

by | Sep 6, 2023 | Renewable Energy

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Rivers may now do more than satisfy your thirst; they can also give you energy. Isn’t it Surprising? Green energy may find an alternative in the form of Blue energy. One estimate claims that if we can figure out how to tap into this “energy effectively,” it will be abundant enough to supply our requirements. However, what precisely is this blue-form energy? Let’s first get this straight.

What is Blue Energy?

Blue energy, often known as ocean energy, is produced when the river meets the sea. It refers to producing electricity by combining fresh and saline water. This energy may be captured via various methods, such as tidal power, current power, wave power, thermal energy conversion, and osmosis. When creating blue energy, there are several factors to consider. The height of tides is one such example. The higher the tides are, the further you are from the equator: it can vary from 3 feet in Florida to 30 feet in Maine.

What is blue energy?

Source

Blue energy is not a new notion. RE Pattle, a British engineer, presented it for the first time in 1954. He initially proposed that the difference in composition between salt water from the seas and freshwater from rivers flowing into them may cause a change in osmotic pressure. According to the notion, if a particular semipermeable membrane separated the two liquids, fresh water would naturally flow toward the saltwater chamber, lowering its saline concentration. If the volume of this second chamber remained constant, the pressure of salt water would rise, allowing it to move an electricity-generating turbine.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Blue Energy

Blue energy can be harvested from dissolved carbon dioxide extracted from fossil-fuel power plants and is not confined to mixing river water and saltwater only. According to estimates, the flue emissions from fossil fuel power plants contain enough carbon dioxide to generate around 850 terawatts of blue electricity. Another benefit of this energy is that it is not affected by external elements such as wind or sunlight. It also requires less terrain than wind and solar. Blue energies are accessible, dependable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.

The most significant barrier to this energy is the technique of acquiring it. Despite the promise of technology, it has proven inefficient. The technique is only feasible for certain geographical areas. Hence, this renewable energy must be harvested near where the human population will utilize it as a viable energy source.

The problem with this energy can be better understood by the example of the first blue-energy plant, opened in Tofte, Norway, in 2009 by the business Statkraft. The company used pressure-retarded osmosis to solve the problem of blue energy. But Statkraft had to shut down the facility in 2013 after discovering it was not cost-effective. The devices did not provide enough electricity to balance the costs of building, operation, and maintenance.

Closing Remark

Blue energy, also known as osmotic power, has struggled for decades to establish economic viability, but recent advances in nanotechnology may usher in a new age. This fascinating chemistry that occurs when rivers meet the sea has the potential to power our houses and much more.

Also Read: Clean Energy: A Guide For Sustainable Future

Author

  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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2 Comments

  1. KelechI Onyemachi

    I am interested in the gains of harnessing Blue energy to provide clean, safe and affordable energy for people in developing countries like Nigeria where more than 70% of the adult population live below the poverty line.

    Reply
    • Josephine WilesWarner

      Fascinating. I am also interested in learning more about Blue energy because people in developing countries have energy deficiencies. Blue energy will help solve the energy problems of sub-Saharan African countries.

      Reply

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