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Seaweed power plan

Friday, August 25, 2017

RESEARCH has found that seaweed provides the answer to producing a country's energy, providing fertiliser and creating employment opportunities that are environmentally friendly.

Speaking at the Pacific Blue Economy Conference in Suva on Wednesday, Professor Gunter Pauli, a serial entrepreneur and author, and initiator of the Blue Economy, says their research has found that seaweed provides the solution to a country that spends a lot of money on importing fuel and fertilisers.

"You harvest the seaweed so that you can make gas, so we are making gas from seaweed and the wake from that is to fertilise it. So typically we have gas imported and fertiliser imported, but now we can make it ourselves. Now if you are farming different types of seaweeds, you are going to regenerate biodiversity," he said.

"So now you have more biodiversity, jobs, energy and you are going to have fertiliser and that's the kind of blue economy we want.

"If you have one hectare, 68 metres deep, with the technique we have developed, you will produce a thousand tonnes of seaweed a year and that seaweed will generate every hour 22 cubic metres of gas.

"And if that turns to a thousand square kilometres, you very quickly are able to supply the world's gas.

"That means it does not make any sense any more to start drilling and looking for gas from the bottom of the sea, for a very simple reason you have a much cheaper (alternative).

"If the people in the Pacific are interested to do this, then we will move."

Fiji has a total 1.3 million square kilometres of ocean in its EEZ, that is equivalent to 130 million hectares. Fuel oil imports in 2016 were estimated to total $US346 million ($F737m), accounting for 16 per cent of Fiji's total national import bill.

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