About our work



The International and European Alliance for Osmotic Energy, formally known as the INES Project (Integrated Network of Energy From Salinity Gradient Power), was launched in 2012 with the help of DG Environment of the European Commission, where competing parties united. With the inclusion of Osmotic Energy in the amendments to the European Renewable Energy Directive (REDII), INES was renamed per 1 September 2022 into: European and International Alliance for Osmotic Energy, to better be tuned to the governing policy framework, however keeping the same logo.


The Alliance for Osmotic Energy’s purpose is to find and develop solutions to the common problems identified as crucial to the development of salinity gradient power including fouling of membranes, investigating financing possibilities for pilots and demonstration projects, solutions for water pre-treatment, ecological aspects, and permitting of larger installations.
Additionally, it is intended to contribute to the further development of the sector and to bring membrane producers, developers, investors, and other potential funding organisations, together with international, European, national and regional authorities. The aim is to facilitate upscaling by closer international and European cooperation.

Partners and Contributors

Regarding the European authorities, this exercise is also aimed at bringing salinity gradient to the attention of the new European Innovation Agency, the relevant European Topic Centres (for example DG Research, DG Region, DG Environment), as well as to International Bodies. INES will help making this invention more known by co-operating with key international agencies. This is important for the transmission of information to key decision makers on Energy and innovation funds, including the relevant OECD directorates, the IEA, the New European Agency on Innovation, the European Topic Centre and The European Investment Bank.


INES provides the opportunity to reach out to transatlantic international centres developing salinity gradient power, including the Unites States, Canadian, Japanese and more Asian actors.
The collaborative network approach (in which IMI has more than 10 years of experience) significantly reduces the research costs and helps its members in finding quick and accurate information.


Besides the “classical” renewable energy sources like tidal or wind energy, salinity gradient power generation is striving to get its place and mention in the RES (Renewable Energy Sources) plan to be explored by the member states. The theoretical potential of MW/h is quite high and the technique ensures a constant production, as regular and powerful as the flow of a river to the sea.

Salinity Gradient Power generation is not a “new” principle. The concept of extracting energy by using the difference of salinity between two water bodies has been discovered in the Early 70’s by Sydney Loeb [1].

“Salinity power” exploits the chemical differences between salt and fresh water, and this project only hints at the technology’s potential: from the mouth of the Ganges to the Mississippi Delta, almost every large estuary could make green electricity, day and night, rain or shine, without damaging sensitive ecosystems or threatening fisheries. One estimate has it that salinity power could eventually provide as much as seven per cent of today’s global energy needs. Experts evaluated the potential energy yield at 1MW/m3 of fresh water / second.

Three techniques for Osmotic Energy generation

At this stage it’s important to make a clear distinction between the three techniques:

Reverse Electro Dialysis (RED)

Simplified, the RED technique uses ionic exchange between fresh and salt water. The water bodies are separated inside the device with special membranes allowing only ions to cross. Anions and cations are crossing different membranes, generating energy.

Reverse Electro Dialysis (RED) method

Reverse Electro Dialysis at Redstack site, Netherlands

Pressure Retarded Osmosis (PRO)

The PRO technique is more closely linked to the osmosis principle: it uses the difference of density between the water bodies. When separated by a special membrane, the water bodies tend to equilibrate, thus generating a huge pressure. This pressure is then used to generate energy.

Pressure Retarded Osmosis

Pressure Retarded Osmosis at SaltPower site, Denmark


In 2013, researchers developed a modification of the Reverse Electrodialysis process that used a single boron nanotube to increase power densities by three orders of magnitude. Startups are investigating its potential for nano-based salinity gradient power generation and lithium extraction from seawater.

Nano Tech

Ionic Nano Diffusion illustration from Sweetch, France

Meet the Team

Selective Partnership Group

Frank has a doctorate in Environmental Management and Public Administration, and has worked with the European Commission, OECD, and Dutch Ministry of Transport. He is currently the director of the Institute for Infrastructure, Environment and Innovation in Brussels. He is involved in various projects related to European Nature Protection Policy, including the coordination of the Paralia Nature project and the INES project on salinity gradient power. Additionally, he is involved in projects related to ocean energy, LTA vehicles and drones, and financing for Lighter-Than-Air technology.

Frank Neumann

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Hans Woldendorp studied law at Leiden University and works part-time as a senior adviser for the Institute for Infrastructure, Environment and Innovation. He has also worked for the European Commission’s DG Environment Legal department as a contact officer for The Netherlands and Belgium, specialising amongst others in the Birds and Habitats directives and large port projects in coastal zones. He publishes on the legal aspects of European and national nature protection policy in The Netherlands and advises large and small infrastructure projects (offshore as wells as onshore) in The Netherlands, and in France regarding the Birds and the Habitats directives and national permitting procedures.

Hans Woldendorp

Senior Advisor
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Sieuwert is a Fellow at IMI and holds a BSc in Business Administration from the University of Amsterdam with a specialization in finance and an Erasmus exchange at Bocconi University. At IMIEU, Sieuwert works in business development and conducts research into the field of voluntary carbon credits. Sieuwert works in Dutch and English and can communicate in Italian. Previously, he obtained experience as a chef while working in professional kitchens as well as entrepreneurial experience after registering at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.

Sieuwert Kiewiet de Jonge

Fellow at IMIEU
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Kunal studied Mechanical Engineering (Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering with Energy Specialization) in India, and currently holds a Masters in Sustainable Energy Technology from TU Delft. He works as a Junior Advisor at IMIEU, currently involved in two projects – Lighter Than Air (LTA) technologies, and Salinity Gradient Power (INES), along with helping improve IMIEU’s web presence. His main technical areas are renewable energy generation and energy storage. He is also a technical advisor on the green hydrogen project that IMIEU is involved with.

Kunal Chowdhury

Fellow at IMIEU
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Dimitar Migov studied European Studies at the Hague University of Applied Science. He acquired experience in the private and public sector while completing his bachelor programme as well during his Internship at Institute for Infrastructure, Environment and Innovation. Coming from Republic of Moldova he has the ability to speak multiple languages such as: Romanian, Russian and English. He works as a Junior Advisor research development at IMI on a number of sustainable projects dedicated to renewables and circular economy with a special focus on Salinity Gradient Power (INES), and on Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) drone technology.

Dimitar Migov

Fellow associate
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Sandra studied Geomatic Engineering (Bachelor’s degree) at The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana and has a keen interest in forest biodiversity and sustainability. She also has experience working on the Afforestation project by the Forestry Commission in Ghana, currently studying to obtain a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Global Sustainability from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. At IMIEU, she is a Junior Advisor exploring opportunities in Lighter Than Air (LTA) technology in Ghana and other African countries.

Sandra Serwaa Sarfo

Junior Advisor
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Dirk is driven by the green transition, the sustainability challenges businesses and NGO’s are facing today. He studied International Business at the Rotterdam Business School, specialising in circular economy and sustainable business models. Dirk has also written an e-book, ‘Circular Economy in the Brewing Industry’, combining his passion for beer brewing with circularity. Additionally, he obtained international experience working for commercial enterprises and an NGO in England, Scotland and Belgium. At IMIEU, he is Junior Advisor works on the upscaling of innovative renewables (INES) and environmental drone technology (LTA). Apart from this, Dirk is bilingual in English and Dutch, a true believer in teamwork and always ready for the next challenge.

Dirk Holland

Research Advisor
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The European Green Deal is Anna’s main focus. She holds a Master’s degree in Management from the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany and has research experience in various fields of sustainability, among others in the electric mobility sector. At IMIEU she works on the European aspects of the upscaling of innovative renewables and environmental drone technology. Besides, drawing upon her experiences in consulting, she is also working on the development of consortia including German institutional and private partners. Anna can work in German and in English and has a good command of French and Spanish.

Anna Ossenkopp

Fellow associate
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