Amazon tests carbon removal with seaweed farming between wind turbines
Amazon is putting significant funds into the world’s first commercial-scale seaweed farm conveniently located between offshore wind turbines, according to a blog posted by the company on Thursday.
“By locating the farm in previously empty space between turbines, the project is able to expand seaweed cultivation in the otherwise heavily used North Sea," stated the blog.
"If seaweed farming were to expand to occupy the entire space occupied by wind farms, expected to be approximately 1 million hectares by 2040, it could reduce millions of tonnes of CO2 annually.”
The project is led by the non-profit organization North Sea Farmers (NSF) and is expected to become operational by the end of this year. It is further managed by a consortium of scientific researchers and partners from the seaweed industry.
The hope with the new project is that North Sea Farm 1 will become a model for offshore seaweed farming the world over.
“Amazon is granting $2.16 million (€1.5 million) to create this first-of-its-kind seaweed farm and carry out a year’s scientific research into carbon reduction through seaweed farming," further explained the blog.
"The funding comes from its $100 million global Right Now Climate Fund – Amazon’s commitment to support nature-based solutions, which is in addition to the work the company is doing to decarbonize its business.”
A key tool in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
North Sea Farm 1 will consist of a 10-hectare seaweed farm, which is expected to produce at least 6,000 kgs of fresh seaweed in its first year and will serve to explore the potential of seaweed farms to remove carbon from the atmosphere. It will also aim to create new jobs and opportunities.
"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,” said in the blog 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.”
Seaweed is a superfood that can offer many benefits when added to a diet, but that’s not all. It is also a better biofuel source than corn or soybeans.
Amazon did not specify what it hopes its seaweed will be used for, but the applications are varied and many.
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