Dutch seek to harness energy from salt water mix

Dutch test technology that takes advantage of the difference in salt concentration between sea water and fresh water to produce renewable energy

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dutch researchers are seeking to add a new, largely untapped renewable energy source to the world's energy mix with the opening of a "Blue Energy" test facility on Wednesday.

Blue energy takes advantage of the difference in salt concentration between sea water and fresh water to produce electricity. A similar test plant was launched in Norway in 2009.

One reason to try the system in the Netherlands is geography: the Rhine and Meuse rivers both meet the sea here. The plant is strategically located on the Afsluitdijk — the huge dike that turned part of the North Sea into a freshwater lake in the 1930s.

The multiyear project, funded by a mix of government and corporate sponsors, seeks to improve the system's efficiency until it is a profitable electricity source.

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