Blue power is the energy that is harnessed from the natural movements of the oceans.
Blue energy, sometimes called ocean energy, is a term for the method of generating electricity through the convergence of fresh and salt water. This energy can be extracted by a variety of means, including tidal energy, current energy, wave energy, thermal energy conversion, and osmosis. Energy can also be collected by harnessing wind energy associated with the body of water – usually the ocean.
A type of blue energy extracted by osmosis, also called salient gradient force, employs a large artificial semi-permeable membrane to create reverse electrodialysis from natural marine resources. The resulting energy can be used to generate electricity. The only by-product is brackish water. Brackish water is simply a combination of fresh and salt water that occurs naturally in an estuary.
This type of energy is only useful in certain geographic areas. The only way to create blue energy beyond a laboratory is in an estuary, where the freshwater currents and the salt tides of the ocean meet at the mouth of the river. While the technology has been understood for a long time, manufacturing the membranes was too expensive to become a practical energy alternative. Recently, more cost-effective membranes have been developed, which will allow blue energy technology to start being implemented in suitable environments.
In addition to blue energy as it pertains to reverse electrodialysis, there is also a company called Blue Energy. This company also provides alternative energy, but its technology is a little different. The energy generated by the company takes advantage of the currents of the tidal waters of the ocean through a turbine. The turbine is similar to a windmill, except it works underwater. Harnessing ocean currents is more efficient and predictable than wind energy, so it’s a good solution for coastal communities.
The company’s environmental benefits, as well as blue energy, are priceless. As both technologies are renewable and do not emit greenhouse gases, using this energy whenever possible will help reduce global warming and other consequences caused by burning fossil fuels. In addition, blue energy does not take up as much space as power grids, and ecosystems are not adversely affected as in mining and drilling, for example.