The Energy of Tomorrow May Not Be Solar, but Seaweed

SEAWEED ENERGY The U.S. Department of Energy is investing in a novel source of future renewable energy in the form of seaweed. That’s right — seaweed energy. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the DOE is investing nearly $1.5 million in two projects that will help develop seaweed farms and explore harvesting methods. Seaweed, in all its slimy glory, can be processed into a biofuel that could be used to power our homes and vehicles. The DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program is funding projects across the country to make the large-scale cultivation of seaweed a reality, supporting another alternative to fossil fuel use. Of the two latest projects funded, $995,978 went to Makai Ocean Engineering of Honolulu to help build an ocean simulating model that the will aid researchers in designing offshore seaweed farms, and $500,000 went to Kampachi Farms of Kailua-Kona to test harvesting methods for seaweed grown on these farms. Kampachi Farms will also develop an offshore seaweed farm.