- The city of Venice, Italy, is turning the idea of an algae power plant from a myth to a reality
- Algae is one of the most promising alternative renewable energy sources available
- Algae is produced much faster than other biomass feedstocks, and the production process can eliminate any carbon release into the atmosphere
There has been a lot of talk and news about the possibility of an algae power plant, and now what once was only considered a myth is a plan in motion. Algae has a lot of promise as a source of energy and power, and one country is taking a big step by planning a facility that generates power from this rapidly growing alternative renewable energy source. When it comes to producing environmentally friendly energy, algae shows some of the best possibilities, and recent research has shown it can be used for biofuels as well as electricity and other forms of energy. There are many benefits to using this power source instead of fossil fuels or other alternative energy options, and some of the benefits may be a surprise to a lot of people. Algae as a source of energy does not harm the environment, and it eliminates the need for food crops such as corn and soybeans to be used for biofuels. In addition, it is a plant, which means that carbon is removed from the air and used, and oxygen is released instead. Some strains of algae are very high in oils, and can grow at a very rapid pace. They can be harvested daily, because the amount of plant material can be increased to double in a single night. Half of this energy source is oil, while with oil palm trees only twenty percent of them are oil.
There has been talk of using algae as an alternative source of power for a while, and this idea is not new. The Department of Energy in the US first started looking at this idea in the 1950s, but that was as far as it went. In the USA a bigger effort to switch from fossil fuels is hampered by all the money large oil companies pay for lobbying in Washington, but Venice does not have this constraint. The new algae power plant under development and construction will be in Europe, and this may be the beginning of the end for fossil fuel use and dependence. Once countries and people around the world see that using algae for energy is possible, and that the myth has become a reality, the demand for more of these green power plants will go up significantly. Algae is the perfect renewable energy source, one that is fast to grow and that can be designed so that the entire process is carbon neutral. No greenhouse gas emissions means that this facility will not damage the ozone layer, and the entire growing and production process can be very efficient and cost effective.
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