Sustainability – Growing seaweed can help boost food security

New research shows that expanding seaweed farming operations can help address global food insecurity, biodiversity loss and the impacts of climate change.

Seaweed provides a sustainable alternative to land-based agriculture and can help meet the world’s growing needs for food and materials, according to a team of Australian scientists who published their findings in the sustainability of nature.

“Seaweed has great commercial and ecological potential as a nutritious food and a building block for commercial products including animal feed, plastics, fiber, diesel and ethanol,” said lead author Scott Spillias from the University of Queensland. Permit.

Spillias and colleagues identified the potential for cultivating more than 34 commercially related species of seagrass and estimated the environmental benefits of various scenarios related to land use, emissions, water, and wildlife.

In the end, they found that growing seaweed would reduce the need for wild crops and reduce global agricultural emissions by up to 2.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year.

Total greenhouse gas emissions generated by the global agri-food sector It amounted to about 16.5 billion tons in 2021, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.

In addition to reducing emissions, the researchers found that when they replaced 10 percent of the human diet with seaweed, they were able to prevent agriculture on 272 million acres of land.

The gains could be even greater, Spillias explained, since many native species of seaweed have yet to be studied from a commercial production perspective.

“The way I like to look at this is to think of ancestral versions of everyday crops — like corn and wheat — that were uninspired, grassy things,” he said.

“Through thousands of years of reproduction, we have developed the staple crops that support modern societies and seaweeds could hold similar potential in the future.”

Welcome to balance, a newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability. they were Saul Albin And Sharon Odasen. Subscribe here.

We’ll start today in New York City, which will host massive airport solar arrays in just a few years. Then we will see why Ukraine is looking to construct shipborne power plants.

⚡️ Plus: “supercharging” the electric grid.

JFK Station hosts the largest rooftop solar array in New York City

The largest rooftop in New York City The solar array will light up The companies behind the project on Thursday announced a new future for the new airport for John F. Kennedy International Airport in a few years.

Harness the sunThe massive photovoltaic system—comprised of more than 13,000 solar panels—will help power “the New York area’s first fully resilient airport transit hub,” according to the project partners.

At the heart of that hub will be an 11.3-megawatt, stand-alone microgrid — producing enough electricity to power an average of 3,570 U.S. homes for one year, the partners said.

Collaborative project: Juan Macías, CEO of AlphaStruxure, said: Permit.

  • AlphaStruxure — a joint venture between investment firm Carlyle and Schneider Electric — will design, build and operate New building number one (NTO) microgrid.
  • NTO, meanwhile, is a consortium of labor, operating, and financial partners building the terminal with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Cleaner Air, Local Jobs: AlphaStruxure said the mini-grid would provide immediate emissions reductions of 38 percent and reduce pollution levels in Southeast Queens.

  • The partners are positioning the 2.4 million square foot terminal as a “global gateway to New York,” which could also create more than 10,000 new jobs.
  • The first 14 gates are expected to open in 2026, Macías said at a press briefing on Tuesday, while the remaining nine will be operational by 2030.

Divide it: According to the announcement, powering the mini-grid will be 7.66 megawatts of solar energy, or enough to power 1,039 American homes annually.

  • Another 3.68 megawatts will come from fuel cells — devices that convert chemical energy directly into electricity, with water and heat as byproducts.
  • These cells will initially be powered by natural gas but will likely transition to either biogas or green hydrogen.
  • The system will also include a 2 megawatt storage battery and will use the recovered heat to generate chilled water and hot water.

Independent islands: The companies said the mini-grid would consist of four “energy islands” each with independent sources of generation, storage, automation and control.

  • Three islands will be operational when the first gates open in 2026, while the fourth will be operational in 2030, according to Macías.
  • Touting the system’s “seamless transition” capabilities, Macías said “a transition that can occur in less than 100ms in the event of a network outage.”

Read more about this project here.

Shipborne power stations can help the grid in Ukraine

Up to 1 million Ukrainians could soon get electricity by ship.

State-owned electricity company JSC Energy Company of Ukraine (ECU) signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday with Turkish-owned floating power plant company Karpowership.

ECU sees floating generators as one potential means of helping customers counter damage to the electrical grid caused by the upsurge in Russian missile attacks in recent months.

under assault: The Russian military has been bombing the Ukrainian grid for months and the national power grid Losing the reform warECU executives told Russian news outlet Interfax.

  • “We have to look for innovative solutions to overcome the current crisis,” said the company’s general director, Vitaly Butenko.
  • Butenko said it had proved “impossible” to build new power plants or restore capacity lost due to Russian bombing.

Shipping: The Turkish company said Karpowership would supply Ukraine with up to 500 megawatts of electricity from ship-based generators.

The portable power plants will be installed on ships near the coast, most likely in nearby Romania or Moldova, and will be connected to the grid through underwater cables.

They can burn LNG, fuel oil or biodiesel.

Read more here.

5 efforts to “charge” the American network

Clean energy legislation passed by Democrats in Congress last year has the potential to transform all aspects of the national power system, a pair of advocacy groups said in a new report. Report.

The Biden administration has pushed for funding in the Inflation Reduction Act to help make the US electric grid carbon-neutral by 2035.

But Evergreen action and the Natural Resources Defense Council Doing so, he says, will require making better use of the estimated $370 billion in loans, grants and tax credits in the package.

Lena Moffitt, chief of staff for Evergreen Action, told Equilibrium that the following five investments have the potential to help “add strength” to clean energy development in the United States:

1: Clean Energy Tax Credits: $260 billion or more

This is the lion’s share of the bill — expanding existing wind and solar tax programs to cover a wide range of emerging technologies and enterprises.

  • For example, new tax credits allow nonprofits that have no tax liability to get paid for clean energy upgrades. It also makes tax credits refundable and transferable. “This is significant because it is incomplete,” Moffitt said.
  • Congress estimated it would spend $260 billion on tax breaks, according to House Democrats. But Moffitt said that if enough people use it, it’s “essentially unlimited.”

2: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: $27 billion

This is the old idea for the Green Development Bank, Moffitt said, absorbed into the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and hidden behind an unthreatening name.

3: Clean Rural Energy Financing: $12.8 billion

A little-noticed climate stimulus provision will go to the USDA to help rural electric cooperatives switch to renewable energy sources.

  • “That’s another thing that has a big impact on its profitability,” said Moffitt, because “rural cooperatives own and operate a lot of coal.”
  • “These funds can be transformative in helping rural energy providers transition from the dirtiest form of energy,” she added.

4: Department of Energy loan guarantees: $8.6 billion

That money will go to “retooling, repurposing, repurposing, or replacing” infrastructure such as coal-fired power plants or to build new renewables, according to Evergreen.

  • The package includes billions of dollars to guarantee clean energy loans – to reduce the risk to private lenders in the event of a default.
  • The government estimates that this program will persuade private equity firms to contribute another $290 billion in private loans.

5: Network promotion: about $8.5 billion

Moffitt said the money would work “synergistically” with new rules from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that make it clear that new transmission lines are allowed.

These rules are expected in the coming months.

The $8.5 billion package will contain:

  • $3 billion from the Inflation Control Act for infrastructure loans, funding for planning and staffing for regulatory agencies.
  • $2.5 billion from a bipartisan Infrastructure Act to fund new, alternative, or upgraded high-capacity power lines to carry clean electricity from one region to another.
  • An additional $3 billion from a bipartisan bill, through which the Department of Energy would allocate similar grants to pay for the deployment of new grid technologies.

Thursday threats

The Biden administration is protecting the wilderness from the threat of mining, heat deaths are at a new high in Texas and formal land rights are helping mitigate the threat of deforestation in Brazil.

The Biden administration restricts hard rock mining in the wild state of Minnesota

  • The Biden administration announced Thursday that it will Protecting about 225,000 new acres In a northeastern Minnesota wilderness area of ​​mineral rental, our colleague Zack Podrick mentioned. The protection includes the Boundary Waters Canoe Area – the site of a proposed copper and nickel mine.

Record death toll due to heat in Texas

  • Kill heat related diseases A record 214 people in Texas In 2022 — more than half of them are immigrants crossing the state’s southern border, according to the Texas Tribune. The Tribune reported that the annual number of migrant deaths at the US-Mexico border has more than tripled since 2020 amid rising temperatures.

Land titles protect Brazil’s forests

Please visit The Hill’s Department of Sustainability Online for more and Check out our other newsletters here. OK see you tomorrow.

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