Dike to house blue energy plant
The cabinet has approved funding totalling 20 million euros for sustainable energy projects on the Afsluitdijk, the 32-kilometre barrier that closed off the Zuiderzee from the open sea to create what is now the freshwater IJsselmeer lake.
The dike will house an innovative osmotic power plant, or ‘blue energy’ plant, which exploits pressure created when salt water passes through a membrane to mix with fresh water. Solar panels will also be mounted on the dike.
The sustainable energy funding comes as part of a renovation package to increase the safety of the Aflsuitdijk, which was completed in 1932. In its present state the barrier can no longer guarantee protection against high water, the Infrastructure Ministry says.
The surface of the dike is to be reinforced along its entire length, and the sluices that drain excess water from the IJsselmeer into the sea will be given a 200-million euro overhaul.
The regional authorities have also investigated opportunities to use the dike for recreational purposes. The renovation project may also include the construction of a marina. At present the dike serves as a road link between the west and north of the country.
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