World’s first floating city to be developed in French Polynesia

French Polynesia has signed an historic agreement that will allow for the development of the first floating city in a lagoon in French Polynesia. During a visit to The Seasteading Institute in California on the 13th of January a memorandum of understanding was signed by Mr. Jean Christophe Bouissou, Minister of Housing and the government’s official spokesperson on behalf of French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch. Blue21 co-founder Karina Czapiewska was there on this memorable occasion.

The floating city is to be developed in a lagoon off the island of Tahiti. Suitable locations will be sought in sheltered waters behind a reef break so that the island will be protected from large waves. Environmental and economic impact studies will then be conducted to ensure that it will benefit the local economy and avoid damaging the environment.

The special governing framework needed to realize the development will be completed by the end of 2017, studies into the project should reach completion by 2018. Construction of the pilot project based on Blue21’s sustainable modular platform design, will hopefully start in 2019 and is estimated to cost between US $10 million and US $50 million.

This exciting new development has been picked up by media around the world with BBC News and Global Construction Review reporting on the news. Visit The Seasteading Institute’s website for more information on the collaboration with French Polynesia.

Image source: The Seasteading Institute

Integrated and resilient eco-village to be developed in Almere

In Almere, The Netherlands a visionary pilot community consisting of integrated and resilient eco-homes is being developed.  These self-sufficient homes will be equipped with combined technologies such as renewable energy, energy storage, organic food production, aquaponics, water management and waste-to-resource systems. In doing so this project could potentially positively influence some of the challenges of increasing urbanization and scarcity of resources whilst reducing global CO2 emissions.

The first 25 homes are currently being developed in Almere, with a total of 100 expected to be built as part of this first pilot. More ReGen Villages are expected to be developed along Northern Europe with Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany and Belgium showing interest in the self-resilient eco-villages.

For more information about ReGen Villages, check out their website or visit Copenhagen based architect agency Effekt for furhter insight into the projcect.

Image source: Effekt

Exciting development for the future of world’s first seastead

On the 13th of January, the French Polynesian President, Édouard Fritch, will travel from Tahiti to San Francisco to meet with members of the Seasteading Institute. The purpose of his visit is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, confirming the agreement with the Seasteading Institute to collaborate on developing the world’s first seastead in French Polynesia.

Blue21 co-founder Karina Czapiewska has travelled to California to witness this monumental step in the development of a floating city in the South Pacific. Last autumn Blue21 was also part of a delegation that travelled to Tahiti to meet with President Fritch and other government officials to discuss plans to develop a seastead in French Polynesian waters. If all goes to plan, the special governing framework needed to realize development, will be completed by the end of 2017.

For more information check out the Seasteading Institute’s website.

Image source: The Seasteading Institute

Super rich set up $1 billion climate fund for clean energy innovation

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and nineteen fellow investors have set up the Breakthrough Energy Venture (BEV) which is focussed on fighting climate change by investing in forms of clean energy. Jack Ma (Alibaba), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Hasso Plattner (SAP), Richard Branson (Virgin) and former energy hedge fund manager John Arnold are just several of the multimillionaire investors who are committed to developing commercial clean energy technology. According to Forbes Magazine the combined net worth of the directors is estimated to be close to $ 170 billion.

Over the next 20-years BEV will aim to commercialize clean energy by investing in new technologies that reduce greenhouse- gas emissions and deliver affordable and reliable energy for future generations. This news follows the latest reports of president-elect Donald Trump appointing vocal climate-change deniers who advocate for traditional energy sources such as gas, oil and coal, the exact opposite of the emission-free future that BEV is striving to realize.

Here at Blue21 we are thrilled with this news. Generating renewable energy on land and of course on sea!! is the only way to keep our blue planet habitable.

Online newspaper Quartz has published an article about the BEV initiative.

Image source: Breakthrough Energy

Alternative offshore energy storage being investigated

Wind farms and solar-energy plants produce free energy, but the availability can change from minute to minute. In order to be able to compete with more traditional forms of energy production it is important to store surpluses on a large-scale for times of scarcity. Pumped storage, as it is called, was until recently, dependant on convenient geography to be built and done so on a two-reservoir-model. Two individual projects are investigating how to adapt the principle of pumped storage to cheap and reliable systems in order to smooth the output of energy and to become large-scale contributors to power generation.

The first project has been running for a year in Toronto, Canada and is situated at the bottom of Lake Ontorio. Compressed air is pumped to a storage vessel 55 metres below the surface of the water where it is stored in spherical bags made by proprietary material. When energy is needed, the air is released to the onshore plant, its expansion there back to normal pressure drives a turbine.

In Germany the StEnSea system (Storing Energy at Sea) has been launced at a depth of 100 metres in Lake Constance. Rather than storing compressed air, this system uses water to pump energy to and from a series of concrete pressure vessels, turning turbines as it travels.

In The Economist an interesting article about both projects and their expected storage capacity.

Image source: © HOCHTIEF Solutions – Storing Energy at Sea

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