A new report has been recently published that outlines the possibility of farming seaweed and marine algae as a future green energy source. The report was commissioned by The Crown Estate and conducted by researchers at The Scottish Association for Marine Science.
The report details the potential of using seaweed to produce biomass for heating homes or running transport, while avoiding the problems associated with biofuels, such as the use of valuable agricultural land.
Other advantages to be had from generating energy from marine biomass included in the report are:
- it avoids the problem of switching agricultural land from food to fuel production
- unlike terrestrial biomass, it is not be limited by freshwater supplies
- seaweed has high conversion efficiencies and rapid conversion rates
- the residues are suitable for use as nutrient supplements for agriculture
- seaweed farms may also increase local biodiversity, absorbing some of the excess nutrients in run off from agricultural land, which can cause problems such as algal blooms.
What are your thoughts on this research? Do you know of similiar initiatives? Please let us know about them.