As discussed in section 3.7.2 (Fig. 3.81), a salinity difference, such as the one existing between fresh (river) and saline (ocean) water, may be used to drive an osmotic pump, and the elevated water may in turn be used to generate electricity by an ordinary turbine (cf. section 4.5).
An alternative method, aiming directly at electricity production, takes advantage of the fact that the salts of saline water are ionised to a certain degree, and thus may be used to derive an electrochemical cell of the type discussed in section 4.1.6 (Pattie, 1954; Weinstein and Leitz, 1976).
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Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.