World’s first commercial-scale seaweed farm between offshore wind turbines
Seaweed is a powerhouse when it comes to tackling climate change, thanks to its ability to absorb CO2 as it grows. But until now, seaweed farming has been largely limited to small-scale operations. Enter the North Sea Farm 1, the world’s first commercial-scale seaweed farm located between offshore wind turbines.
This innovative project, funded by Amazon’s Right Now Climate Fund, is poised to revolutionize the seaweed farming industry.
The project is managed by a consortium of scientific researchers and partners from the seaweed industry, led by the non-profit organization North Sea Farmers (NSF). Amazon is granting €1.5 million to create the first-of-its-kind seaweed farm and carry out scientific research into carbon reduction through seaweed farming.
The North Sea Farm 1 will be located in a wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands and test and improve methods of seaweed farming, while researching the potential of seaweed to sequester carbon. By locating seaweed farms between offshore wind turbines, this project makes use of untapped space to capture carbon. And if scaled up, the European seaweed farming sector has the potential to reduce CO2 by millions of tonnes a year by 2040.
Amazon’s Director EU Sustainability, Zak Watts, explains “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. We’re delighted to fund this project to help us reach a greater understanding of its ability to help fight climate change.”
Seaweed has many other benefits beyond its carbon-capturing abilities. It can also be used to manufacture packaging, food, and clothing, among other products. And the North Sea Farm 1 is expected to produce at least 6,000kg of fresh seaweed in its first year, creating opportunities for new jobs in the farming and production of seaweed-based products.
Eef Brouwers, Manager of Farming and Technology at NSF, says that “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.” This would not only create jobs in the farming process but also in the production and sales of seaweed-based products.
The North Sea Farm 1 will play a major role in scaling the seaweed farming industry. With the potential to occupy the entire space occupied by wind farms, it has the potential to make a significant impact in the fight against climate change.