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Holland: algae grown under offshore wind farms

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Renewable energies are now at the center of attention to address the energy crisis and reduce carbon emissions. Some of the renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, have a significant disadvantage, namely the need to occupy large spaces.

Wind turbines can also be installed in the open sea where there is a lot of wind, but with the risk of damaging fragile ecosystems . Furthermore, in those areas it is not possible to fish, sail or authorize bathing activities. A group of researchers from  Wageningen University  (The Netherlands) has decided to allocate the areas where offshore wind farms are located for the cultivation of algae .

Algae could be useful in making animal feed, natural fertilizers, meat substitutes or supplements in human nutrition. However, these can have an important impact on the environment in which they grow , so observations have been conducted in small wind farms in the North Sea where these are already being cultivated.

In the growth phase, these remove nitrogen and phosphate from other marine creatures, giving rise to a sort of competition with other inhabitants of the sea. The researchers thus created a model to determine the impact that algae have on phytoplankton , hence the well-being of the ecosystem. However, these observations are influenced by pollution, human activities and other parameters, so there is a need to perform other studies to evaluate their impact.

  • Cultivating algae under offshore wind farms, the Dutch project to simultaneously produce energy and cruelty free food (greenme.it)

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