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Mark Capron

Apr 27, 2013
05:13

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Why the list not showing the 2 supporters.

2013scalingrenewablesjudges 2013scalingrenewablesjudges

Jul 6, 2013
03:38

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Mr. Capron, Thank you for your submission and congratulations on your selection as a finalist for the final judging round. To improve your proposal we have the following comments/questions that we would like you to address: 1. Is there a larger economic model associated with a 100mn project size? 2. What emerging countries do you see can benefit from transfer of this technology? 3. What are the negative side effects of the technology? (Is the seaweed invasive outside of its naturally occurring habitat?) 4. What is the efficiency of energy production in this model? Please consider these comments/questions in your next draft. Thanks, CoLab Judges.

Mark Capron

Jul 12, 2013
01:53

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1. What is "100mn"? 100% of U.S. EIA projected global fossil energy demand (600 quads)? 100 million hectare of ocean surface?

2013scalingrenewablesjudges 2013scalingrenewablesjudges

Jul 15, 2013
03:29

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Hi Mark, The 100mn refers to the proposed budget size of in the costs section. "We estimate needing US$100 million to design, build, debug, and operate the first commercially viable cluster of 10,000-ha open-ocean forests." Since we are looking for scale, the 100mn project size is a good financial benchmark for understanding budget/economics of the proposal, along with a gross impact. A link to a google drive spreadsheet would be satisfactory. Thanks, CoLab Judges

Robert Tulip

Jul 22, 2013
08:16

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Hi Mark, congratulations, you have a compelling presentation here. I have several general comments. 1. I shared an earlier version with AusAID colleagues working in climate and energy. While that did not lead to any further dialogue as far as I know, I think the role of aid donors such as AusAID, IFC, EU, ADB and ESMAP could be important. But there is some 'paradigm-busting' to be done here, notably to inform people how algae production can be a profitable and ecological energy source suitable for Small Island Developing States. 2. I disagree with you on approach to geoengineering. While the debate is slowed at the moment by false negative claims, a big part of the justification for algae systems at sea is the impact on the global climate, both through CO2 removal and through ocean cooling and de-acidification, especially given your comment about rapid potential scalability. There is an important simple story to be told here. The concern about geoengineering is directed more to the solar radiation management proposals which are purely an emergency solution to global warming as they do not address the cause of the problem, CO2. Algae production has big CO2 removal potential. There is benefit for you in recognising the need for geoengineering as a response to climate change. 3. You may have seen my related proposal in the Geoengineering section. I think there is potential synergy, in the analysis of microalgae as a focus, and in the design of plastic photobioreactors. A scientifically designed microalgae PBR production system at sea has potential for extremely high productivity, building on lessons that you learn from initial work with macroalgae, and noting my points about how such a PBR system can control the nutrient flow and provide pumping energy from wave and tide. 4. Best wishes with the competition.

Mark Capron

Jul 26, 2013
09:30

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Robert - Thank you. Judges - Question about email of 1:41pm (California time), Jul 25: "Administrator removed proposal Fiji, then Small Island Ocean Afforestation Initiative, then Indian Ocean, …". But the proposal is still there as of 6:50pm, Jul 26. Were you hacked again? Or the Ocean Foresters did something wrong? Or you are decreasing the remaining proposals with a somewhat tactless message?

Patrick De Boer

Jul 29, 2013
12:18

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Hi Mark, There's no need to be concerned about that. We are running a separate ClimateColab system that is identical to the one that you are seeing here - but we use it for testing purposes. New features get tested there before deploying them to the public. In order for testing to reflect actual circumstances, we copy the data from the Colab (including your proposal) and use it externally. While testing our most recent feature, I deleted multiple proposals on the testing system - including yours. Don't worry, this doesn't mean that your proposal was compromised - it just showed up as the first in the list and is therefore a compelling candidate. Thanks, Patrick

2013scalingrenewablesjudges 2013scalingrenewablesjudges

Jul 31, 2013
03:33

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The Author has updated their proposal to answer some of the questions and comments that the Judges’ posed in the previous round. The proposal is well thought out and novel in technology and focus. The presentation is clear and well communicated. Additionally, the author has elaborated in detail the mechanisms of the process, the impact and the action plan of the proposal’s go to action plan. This plan shows merit, but it may encounter issues regarding feasibility and scalability. While the advanced stage of testing is encouraging, the technology that is proposed by the author is still largely unproven. The scalability and transfer of technology to E7 countries is not clearly delineated. The lack of a larger emphasis on a specific E7 country is alos a negative. In spite of the technology risk, the concept has applicability to many of the contests, but for the Scaling Renewables contest, the proposal does not sufficiently address the prompt, which sought a focus on E7 countries.

Mark Capron

Aug 1, 2013
10:32

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Dear Judges, Great comments on exactly those concerns in need of some collaboration, debate, and clarification. Feasibility, scalability, and tech transfer – Yes, scaling to globally eliminate all fossil fuels is ambitious. Our mass balances make us nearly certain about our ability to remain environmentally sustainable at full scale. Economic sustainability in the face of cheap fossil fuels is a real concern. Therefore, the countries currently importing fossil fuels have the most to gain by growing their own fuel. China, India, and Turkey are big coal importers. Indonesia, Russia, and China are big coal exporters. Mexico has significant coal reserves. China, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Mexico, and Brazil are big oil importers. Most of the technology for our ecosystems is well developed, the main exception appears to be growing and harvesting using very little energy. Growing and harvesting techniques are also likely to be developed (or at least adapted) to fit local conditions. This situation implies we will have as much “home grown” as “transferred” technology for each E7 country. Specific E7 countries – Yes, we erroneously transposed our concern for all developing and emerging countries onto your focus on the E7 (or at least one E7). Allow us to correct that. Mexico (Gulf of California), Turkey (Mediterranean Sea), and Russia (Black Sea) have large relatively sheltered water where we can employ seaweed ecosystem management techniques refined by Fiji and other island nations, or refined by many countries simultaneously. The same may be true for Brazil and Indonesia. Brazil’s entire coast is semi-sheltered because it is not subject to hurricanes. Most of Indonesia is not subject to typhoons and has large sheltered water areas on the west side of each island. India and China will be more difficult because of the cyclones and typhoons. However, rising seas are causing Bengalis to migrate into India. Two of our Ocean Foresters are originally from Bangladesh and would like to tackle the difficulty of operating Ocean Forests in the Bay of Bengal, in spite of the cyclones. Bengalis would supply biomethane to India. Techniques developed by Bangalis would work for India in the Arabian Sea (less cyclones than the Bay of Bengal) and for China in the China Sea (where the typhoon tracks are very dense). Combining the demand to replace imported oil or coal and the ready availability of sheltered water, it appears best to start E7 seaweed forest operations in Turkey and Mexico.

Shawon Rahman

Aug 18, 2013
09:52

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This would be a very useful and feasible Project in Bay-of-Bengal, Bangladesh. As a Bangladeshi, I would like to highlight a few benefits here (but not limited to). Thank you very much for your wonderful presentation and proposal. I have a few comments involving Bangladesh (Bay of Bengal) in this project. 1. If necessity is the mother of invention, than Bangladeshi will be great innovators for large scale energy and food producing ecosystems, like the four proposed by the Ocean Foresters. Bangladesh is caught between rivers and ocean. Higher sea level means our rivers with not drain, they will flood. Rising sea level is already forcing farmers to switch from rice to shrimp. Floods from the mountains will smash into rising seas with us caught in the middle. Many cities near the Bay of Bengal will be under the ocean. The climate disaster makes much of Bangladesh completely unsuitable for land farming. 2. After the Himalayan glaciers melt, our rivers will run dry part of the year. We are like a canary in a Chinese coal mine, dying to warn the world. 3. Fish and rice are the main food in Bangladesh. The Ocean Foresters’ seaweed will yield so many fish and sea vegetables that Bengalis could export fish and seaweed for food. In fact, under this project, the food would be one of the first products of developing seaweed forests in the Bay of Bengal. 4. Shouldn’t “renewables” include food and fresh water? Humanity is and will be expending more energy for both as world population climbs to near 9 billion near 2050. When implementing Ocean Foresters food and energy proposals (without fresh water) in the Bay of Bengal, Bengalis either become a major emerging economy or help India scale up renewables or both. 5. When considering projects to address excessive greenhouse gas emissions, consider how changing conditions over the next century or so may alter the feasibility of a project. How a project might work in Bangladesh is a good example. Many places are like Bangladesh, India, and the U.S. mid-west have decreasing confidence of consistent timing for evaporation rates or fresh water supply (floods, droughts, disappearing glaciers, dropping groundwater tables). Bangladesh’s land area is decreasing with rising sea level. Wind patterns may change. Thank you very much for this wonderful project. Hope Bangladesh would get benefits from this project and make huge contribution to its 160 million people. I think Bangladesh would be an excellent choice for this project.

Mark Capron

Aug 31, 2013
09:22

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Dear Judges, It is difficult to grasp the magnitude of humanity’s existing and future fossil fuel industry in any dimension: global extent, multi-disciplinary, number of jobs, benefits, and impacts. Given the magnitude of fossil fuel, should it be any surprise that an ecosystem that seeks to sustainably replace fossil fuel would span several categories of Climate CoLab? The multi-disciplinary and multi-product nature of managed seaweed forests is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because ocean forests can be sustainably scaled to address many human issues directly or indirectly: climate change, ocean acidification, fresh water scarcity, all the impacts of fossil fuels, as well as food security. We, the Ocean Foresters, know this from six years of research, calculations, recruiting ever more knowledgeable researchers, our mass-balances, life cycle assessment, and continual review of emerging solutions and issues. The more we examine managed seaweed forests, the more researchers discover about our world’s interconnectedness and new issues from greenhouse gases, the more reasons for investing in the “jack of all trades” ocean forest ecosystem. The multi-disciplinary and multi-product nature of managed seaweed forests is a curse because they do not appear to be the “master of one trade.” Worse, we have some hard work, risks, and years to make the forests economically competitive in any and all products in all locations, especially the E7 countries, which happen to have access to inexpensive natural gas. We hope Climate CoLab will look beyond what most potential investors want: “the best way to produce one product” with an exit strategy in one business cycle (about 3 years), to an ecosystem that can save humanity from the ravages of climate change by reversing global warming We need to start developing the technology in a small country dependent on expensive diesel fuel for its electricity, such as the amazing opportunity in Fiji, then we can move into the E7 and other countries. Thanks, The Ocean Foresters

Veronica Vorva

Aug 31, 2013
06:02

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Very interesting idea. Even if this merely contributed to solving global warming issues (along with other efforts and reduced consumption), this project has the potential to bring us a huge leap forward. I like this project because it doesn't use up copious amounts of extra water that is needed with land based farming. Use of other non-renewable resources should be kept to a minimum, and this group seems have that as a goal. I hope to see this take off in the near future.

Jim Stewart

Aug 31, 2013
11:03

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The importance of this project and the others related to it is that they use photosynthesis to capture CO2 and in doing so produce biomass of commercial value. Therefore the energy that drives them is sunlight and the costs involved will be covered by sales. Unless CO2 mitigation can be done with minimal use of manufactured energy and be self-financing, it is hard to see how society will ever muster the will to tax itself enough to pay for it. In the early stages of development and in areas where nutrients are abundant, as assumed in this proposal, seaweed can be harvested and sold as 'sea vegetables' for human food, instead of for bioenergy production; or it can be biorefined into food and feed ingredients to be used in processed foods, including animal feeds. In this way, as well as remediating ocean dead zones and creating local pH havens, seaweed forests can ease pressure on agriculture and spare freshwater, and avoid the “land use” contribution to higher atmospheric CO2. Also, being less vulnerable to extremes of air temperature and unaffected by drought, ocean forests would provide a hedge against agricultural shortfalls, which threaten as the world's human population demands more food and climate change increases risks of crop failure. However, research on production of seaweed must also be accompanied by development of better methods for biorefining the harvested biomass. Seaweeds are known to contain a wide range of valuable macro and micronutrients, but they are not always made available through digestion in human or animal digestive tracts, or through basic processing techniques. Chemical, thermal, enzyme and other methods of bioconversion may all have a role to play in such value extraction. In parallel, the best seaweed species and strains of species must be selected, together with synergistic bacteria, such as nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria that can improve their performance. A multidisciplinary effort is required and the participants in this proposal are well matched to the task. In 1973, Jacques Cousteau said, “With Earth's burgeoning populations to feed we must turn to the sea with new understanding and new technology. We must farm it as we farm the land.” 99% of the food we farm on land is vegetable matter. By farming the sea in the same way not only can we provide for our food security but we can address ocean acidification. Comment prepared by John Forster, Ph.D., Marine Aquaculture consultant to governments and fisheries industries

Jim Stewart

Aug 31, 2013
11:06

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The importance of this project and the others related to it is that they use photosynthesis to capture CO2 and in doing so produce biomass of commercial value. Therefore the energy that drives them is sunlight and the costs involved will be covered by sales. Unless CO2 mitigation can be done with minimal use of manufactured energy and be self-financing, it is hard to see how society will ever muster the will to tax itself enough to pay for it. In the early stages of development and in areas where nutrients are abundant, as assumed in this proposal, seaweed can be harvested and sold as 'sea vegetables' for human food, instead of for bioenergy production; or it can be biorefined into food and feed ingredients to be used in processed foods, including animal feeds. In this way, as well as remediating ocean dead zones and creating local pH havens, seaweed forests can ease pressure on agriculture and spare freshwater, and avoid the “land use” contribution to higher atmospheric CO2. Also, being less vulnerable to extremes of air temperature and unaffected by drought, ocean forests would provide a hedge against agricultural shortfalls, which threaten as the world's human population demands more food and climate change increases risks of crop failure. However, research on production of seaweed must also be accompanied by development of better methods for biorefining the harvested biomass. Seaweeds are known to contain a wide range of valuable macro and micronutrients, but they are not always made available through digestion in human or animal digestive tracts, or through basic processing techniques. Chemical, thermal, enzyme and other methods of bioconversion may all have a role to play in such value extraction. In parallel, the best seaweed species and strains of species must be selected, together with synergistic bacteria, such as nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria that can improve their performance. A multidisciplinary effort is required and the participants in this proposal are well matched to the task. In 1973, Jacques Cousteau said, “With Earth's burgeoning populations to feed we must turn to the sea with new understanding and new technology. We must farm it as we farm the land.” 99% of the food we farm on land is vegetable matter. By farming the sea in the same way not only can we provide for our food security but we can address ocean acidification. Comment prepared by John Forster, Ph.D., Marine Aquaculture consultant to governments and fisheries industries

Konrad Ritter

Aug 31, 2013
11:37

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Very Forward looking and exciting proposal! Perhaps in combination with the other proposal in this contest on crowdfunding a pilotexercise could be started in Fiji to demonstrate ist viability and environmental soundness. Best wishes for success!