An energy dike is a water security infrastructure project that combines the traditional functionality of a dike or dam (namely, water security) with self-sustaining sustainable electricity production. At the interface between salt and fresh water, there is a potential for electricity generation using salinity gradient power (SGP) technology. In the case of the Afsluitdijk, in the Netherlands, it is also possible to use turbines to harness the energy of water periodically being emptied from the IJssel Lake into the Wadden Sea at the sluices. These two renewable energy techniques, commonly known as Tidal Energy and Blue Energy, can also be applied to dikes in other delta areas around the world.
The Energising Deltas project builds on the internationally recognized reputation of the Netherlands with respect to dike-related technology in the water security industry. Innovative and sustainable dike and delta works projects strengthen the Netherlands’ position as a world leader in water security infrastructure. Energising Deltas projects are currently being developed in various provinces of the Netherlands, such as Zeeland, Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland, and Friesland. The technical, ecological and logistical knowledge required for successful implementations must still be improved upon. The Energising Deltas project is pushing for strengthening, bundling, and spreading the knowledge to bring the energy dike concept to a concrete commercialized reality. The project ran from February 2013 to June 2015.
The project partners are Tocardo, REDstack, and Strukton (responsible for defining the research program and analysing the results), Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Deltares and ECN (responsible for research and development based on the previously defined research program), Energy Valley (responsible for maintaining communicative pathways between project partners and interested parties), and Tidal Testing Centre (coordination and project management group)
The Afsluitdijk performs a unique function in the Netherlands, functioning as dike and protecting low-lying areas from the risk of flooding, by creating a sharp interface between natural bodies of fresh and salt water. There are currently two companies working on sustainable energy projects on the Afsluitdijk: REDstack develops Blue Energy technology in Breezanddijk on the Frisian half of the dike, and Tocardo develops tidal energy technology on the North-Holland half of the dike