Sunday, April 12, 2009

Venice to Build Algae Power Plant

The city of Venice, Italy, is taking a step in the truly green direction. There is a plan to build an algae power plant that will produce up to half of the city's energy. This is impressive, and also shows how efforts in other parts of the world are much more forward looking and advanced than what we Americans have been doing.

Producing energy from algae is not new. It began with research by none other than the US Department of Energy in the 1950s, but obviously there were political obstacles that never led to actual production. However, with some effort and extended research, there are some advantages to such power production, which includes taking carbon dioxide from the energy release process and feeding it back into the growth of new algae for future energy use. Researchers believe this can ultimately be close to a carbon neutral process, which is why there is a growing amount of interest in this energy production scheme. We are clearly close, since actual plants will indeed be built overseas.