Reversed Electro Dialysis

1.2 million for promising Blue Energy project

Gedeputeerde Staten are making more than 1.2 million euros available for scaling up the innovative Blue Energy project on the Afsluitdijk. The money will be used to upgrade the existing pilot on the Afsluitdijk to a 16.5 kW Blue Energy installation. In addition, the money will be used to develop an ecologically sound water intake and water pretreatment system. Earlier this year, the Wadden Fund assessed the project positively and an IKW-Wadden Fund grant of nearly €5 million was awarded.

The Blue Energy pilot project is located on the Friesian side of the Afsluitdijk. Here the initiators (REDstack, Deltares and NIOZ) built a small pilot plant for generating "blue" electricity in 2014. Several parties, including the province and the IKW, supported the project from the beginning. The positive results of this promising technique are now the basis for further funding. The Blue Energy technique uses fresh and salt water to generate energy. Fresh and salt water are separated by a membrane that generates sustainable electricity based on ion exchange. A major advantage is that this unique technology, unlike solar and wind energy, generates energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This makes it a wonderful addition to the renewable energy mix in today's energy transition.


Meanwhile, the pilot has provided a wealth of information, the technology has been improved and the project is ready for the next phase. To this end, the initiators, working closely with IKW, have drawn up a new plan and submitted a grant application for follow-up funding. After the positive commitment for the follow-up subsidy, from the Investment Framework Wadden Region and the Wadden Fund earlier this year, the province is now also contributing financially. With the construction of the larger installation, the initiators want to demonstrate that it is technically and economically feasible to responsibly generate sustainable energy in a vulnerable nature area such as the Wadden Sea.


The larger version of the Blue Energy installation will produce 132,000 kWh per year, representing an annual reduction of over 19.8 tons of CO2 emissions. At an average electricity consumption per home, with this output, over 40 homes can be supplied with sustainable "blue electricity" each year.

In addition to scaling up installation, the initiators are also working on developing a business case for a commercial 100 MW power plant. With that power plant, it will eventually be possible to supply about half of all homes in Fryslân with electricity.