According to United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), coral reefs are the habitat for about 32% of all marine species and are thus, directly or indirectly, an important source of food and income for one billion people worldwide. Global warming is raising the temperature of the sea surface, which affects the bleaching of corals and endangers the survival of one of the most complex and valuable ecosystems on Earth, contributing to the global biodiversity crisis.
Climate change is becoming the biggest driver of biodiversity loss, and significant expansion of offshore wind farms is key to resolving these interrelated crises. Danish energy giant Orsted is joining efforts to preserve coral reefs by growing coral on the foundations of offshore wind turbines. The company believes that the expansion of offshore wind energy, necessary to combat climate change, can also integrate solutions that support and improve ocean biodiversity. Also, Orsted wants to achieve a lot with his new energy projects by 2030 an ambitious goal of achieving a positive impact on biodiversity and as a global leader in offshore wind farms, explores innovative ways to protect and enhance biodiversity.
Project ReCoral by Ørsted is one example of how this is intended to be achieved, and its implementation will implement a non-invasive procedure for collecting surplus indigenous coral eggs on the coast, and using it to grow healthy coral colonies on the foundations of nearby marine wind turbines.
Increased surface temperatures in shallow ocean waters can lead to coral bleaching, but in offshore wind turbine locations farther from shore, temperatures are more stable due to vertical water mixing, preventing extreme temperature increases.
The innovative idea of the ReCoral project is that relatively stable ocean water temperatures at wind turbine sites can limit the risk of coral bleaching and allow healthy corals to grow on wind turbine foundations. Corals will be grown close to the surface of the water to provide them with enough sunlight.
Source: E2 Portal by www.e2.rs.
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