Amazon.com has granted €1.5 million to a Dutch project testing the viability of commercially growing seaweed in between turbines of offshore wind farms, the company and organisers said on Thursday.
The project, led by non-profit group North Sea Farmers, will also research the potential of using seaweed for carbon capture.
Fighting Climate Change
"Seaweed could be a key tool in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, yet it’s currently farmed at a relatively small scale in Europe,” commented Zak Watts, director EU sustainability at Amazon. “We're delighted to fund this project to help us reach a greater understanding of its ability to help fight climate change.”
Hundreds of thousands of hectares (acres) of the Dutch North Sea have been earmarked for wind parks as the government seeks to build 21 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030 and will be closed for shipping. The spaces between the turbines will be mostly unused.
Other projects are looking at the feasibility of operating floating solar panels between the turbines.
The Amazon grant will used to build a 10 hectare seaweed farm, called North Sea Farm 1, which organisers said would be finished by the end of 2023 and would produce about 6,000 kilograms of fresh seaweed annually.
“Potentially, up to 85,000 full-time jobs could be created in the European seaweed sector by replicating North Sea Farm 1 across the North Sea, re-purposing the space amongst wind farms," commented Eef Brouwers, manager of farming and technology at NSF.
"These jobs would not only be in the farming process but also in the production and sales of seaweed-based products.”
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