Following #worldoceanday2020, there is no better time to highlight the untapped potential.
Upon this Blue Planet, the ocean is rarely the topic of our conversation. And when it is, we usually speak about (as we should) the pollution and acidification of the ocean, the damage to marine life, rising sea levels and unsustainable aquaculture.
While they are all very real, and extremely important threats that need attention, we have been painting the ocean with the same old victim brush for too long without highlighting just how powerful it is.
This piece focuses on the ‘much needed flip of the script’, to bring to light the power of the ocean as a source of climate solutions.
The ocean, while producing over 50% of the world’s oxygen, also acts as the world’s biggest carbon sink. Done right, the utilisation of the ocean offers potential to accelerate the transition to a clean future and creates a sustainable food system.
The untapped opportunity for Offshore renewable energy no longer needs to remain a dream for 40% of the world’s population living on the coasts. The strong, consistent winds offshore could generate more energy, more reliably with the use of floating turbines, contributing largely to ambitious decarbonisation goals by 2050.
We should prioritise unique ocean ecosystems and biodiversity however we must also act quick to harness the energy of waves and currents.
When considering how to remove carbon from the atmosphere, we look to mass tree planting and even here at Hyperion, we offset our carbon footprint by partnering with Mossy Earth! These programmes are great, however can we truly state that we are using up all potential to sequester carbon while ignoring the fact that 50% of global photosynthesis happens in the ocean?
‘That land-centric myopia misses the carbon drawdown potential’
Crazy to think that wetlands can hold 5x more carbon in their soils than a forest, yet we have already lost 85% of coastal wetlands in fast growing cities such as New York. And all while acting as superhero carbon sinks, coastal ecosystems also provide cheaper AND more effective shoreline protection than manmade devices!
Yes, restoring coastal ecosystems is a great investment.
The word potential has been repeated through this piece, but that is exactly the word to use when describing the Ocean. Potential.
The ‘Blue Economy’ is already on the rise, supporting 3 million jobs in the US. This number can continue to grow as we fight harder than ever for a sustainable future built on clean energy.
At Hyperion, our idea of climate solutions is certainly not limited to traditional solar or wind renewable energy. We are no stranger to new, breakthrough technology and are ready to support innovative companies that are motivated to make a difference.
So, does ocean energy have a place in the future of clean tech?
Offshore wind can and should leap from providing essentially zero percent of our national energy to over 10 percent by 2050 if we are to achieve the needed rapid decarbonization of our electricity grid.