Venture outlines first business scale seaweed farm between offshore wind generators



The way it would possibly look above the water (CGI courtesy of ©Smartland).

A undertaking to create a commercial-scale seaweed farm positioned between offshore wind generators has gotten underway, with funding from Amazon. The undertaking, often called North Sea Farm 1, will probably be positioned in a wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands. It has been designed to check and enhance strategies of seaweed farming, whereas researching the potential of seaweed to sequester carbon. 

By finding the farm in beforehand empty area between generators, the undertaking is ready to broaden seaweed cultivation within the in any other case closely used North Sea. If seaweed farming have been to broaden to occupy the whole area occupied by wind farms, anticipated to be roughly 1 million hectares by 2040, it may scale back hundreds of thousands of tonnes of CO2 yearly.

The undertaking is managed by a consortium of scientific researchers and companions from the seaweed business, led by non-profit organisation North Sea Farmers (NSF), and is anticipated to develop into operational by the tip of this 12 months. The consortium hopes that North Sea Farm 1 will evolve right into a blueprint for offshore seaweed farming the world over.

Amazon says it’s granting €1.5 million to create this first-of-its-kind seaweed farm and perform a 12 months’s scientific analysis into carbon discount by way of seaweed farming. The funding comes from its $100 million international Proper Now Local weather Fund – Amazon’s dedication to help nature-based options, which is along with the work the corporate is doing to decarbonise its enterprise. By means of this fund, Amazon has dedicated €20 million to initiatives throughout Europe to reinforce biodiversity and preserve, restore and enhance nature in communities the place Amazon operates.


CGI displaying how a seaweed farm may be cultivated between two wind generators (picture credit score: ©Smartland)

North Sea Farm 1 goals to kickstart innovation in offshore seaweed farming. The grant will present the funding required to assemble a 10-hectare seaweed farm, which is anticipated to supply not less than 6,000kg of contemporary seaweed in its first 12 months.

This funding will even help North Sea Farmers in analysing and enhancing the farm’s manufacturing capabilities. On the identical time, researchers will discover the potential of seaweed farms to take away carbon from the ambiance, modelling the impacts of large-scale seaweed farming. The non-profit hopes these findings will assist play a task in scaling the business. North Sea Farm 1 and others like it would additionally present a possibility to create jobs by way of the farming and manufacturing of seaweed-based merchandise.

“Seaweed might be a key software in eradicating carbon dioxide from the ambiance, but it’s at present farmed at a comparatively small scale in Europe,” mentioned Zak Watts, Director EU Sustainability at Amazon.  “We’re delighted to fund this undertaking to assist us attain a better understanding of its skill to assist battle local weather change.”

The evolution of farming within the North Sea

North Sea Farmers (NSF) has championed the seaweed sector in Europe since 2014. The non-profit will lead the undertaking, working with a consortium of organisations from throughout Europe which can be concerned in the whole seaweed manufacturing provide chain. This consists of researchers Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Deltares and Silvestrum Local weather Associates, seaweed extract producers Algaia and marine contractor Van Oord.

Eef Brouwers, Supervisor of Farming and Know-how at NSF, mentioned: “Probably, as much as 85,000 full-time jobs might be created within the European seaweed sector by replicating North Sea Farm 1 throughout the North Sea, re-purposing the area amongst wind farms. These jobs wouldn’t solely be within the farming course of but additionally within the manufacturing and gross sales of seaweed-based merchandise.” 

As a part of the Proper Now Local weather Fund’s dedication to funding nature-based initiatives in European communities, Amazon has already invested in a nature and wildlife restoration fund in France, a reforestation programme in Italy, an city greening programme in Germany and a rewilding and tree planting undertaking within the UK. Moreover, Amazon has funded forest conservation and restoration within the Appalachian Mountains in the USA, the Agroforestry and Restoration Accelerator programme within the Brazilian Amazon rainforest and Amazon is a key member of the LEAF Coalition, a brand new international public-private initiative to mobilise not less than $1 billion to guard the world’s tropical rainforests.

For extra details about Amazon’s Proper Now Local weather Fund please go to