Energy from the algae pond

Traditional biofuels such as palm oil and sugar cane have had detrimental effects on the communities that grew them as the land previously used for animals and crops was taken over for biofuel production. In the wake of this, alternative methods have been thought up in the south of France.

So, what are the alternatives to traditional biofuels?

A pond in every garden

Professor Rienk van Grondelle claims that red algae have a more efficient rate of photosynthesis than plants, and that they could be engineered to convert sunlight into biofuel. Considered to be a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels, van Grondelle has devoted his working life to studying the moment when a chemical reaction is produced after light hits the leaf’s surface. He has theorised that the light can be harvested and stored from forest and agricultural land and converted into energy.

However, the research has taken 30 years to get to this stage and van Grondelle suggests that it may take at least another 10 years before algae is able to be offered as a fully working alternative energy source.

What are the alternatives?

If you’re looking for ways to get more sustainable business energy then there are plenty of ways you can do it without having to build a pond of red algae in your customer car park.

Here are a few of the most widely available alternative energy solutions:

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels solar panels are a pretty common sight both on homes and commercial properties these days and if you want an alternative business electricity solution then it could be a viable option for you. You’ll still be connected to the National Grid so not only will you have a backup electricity supply but you’ll also be able to sell any excess electricity you create back to them. Great if you want to save money and have the potential to make some too.

Wind turbines – love them or hate them wind turbines are one way to cut your energy bills and dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. Just like solar panels you can sell excess electricity back to the National Grid, or you can store it in batteries for days when there isn’t any wind.

LED lighting – if you want low cost, low maintenance, and long life then this could be the ideal solution to lighting up your commercial property. Manufacturers claim that LED lights are 80% more energy efficient than traditional bulbs and generate 50% less carbon dioxide.

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