Seasteading: A Future Market For Marine Renewables?

by Carolyn Elefant on August 9, 2009

Of course, you’ve heard of homesteading. But what about Seasteading, the concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea? Sounds crazy, but as Mother Jones reports, Patri Friedman, grandson of Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman has spent the past year and a half creating the Seasteading Institute, a research center with a mission “to further the establishment and growth of permanent, autonomous, ocean communities, enabling innovation with new political and social systems.”

Friedman believes that floating seasteading communities are more resistant to climate change than land-based civilization and also, are easier to sustain through renewables such as wave energy, algae and phytoplankton energy, oceanic thermal energy, and more. Of course, even a utopias like seasteads need money to get off the ground, and Friedman was fortunate enough to receive an initial $500k investment from Paypal founder Peter Thiel in 2008, though the downturn in credit markets have complicated further fundraising efforts.

Seasteads aren’t the only means by which people can live on the water. Deep Sean News profiles a design house in the Netherlands called Water Studio which is dedicated to architecture “in, on and at the water.” As with seasteads, Koen Olthuis, co-founder of Waterstudio envisions that floating developments will be self-supporting and sustained by renewables such as solar, wind and wave energy.

So what do you think? Could floating dwellings be the next market for marine renewables?

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