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Saturday, January 14, 2023

Floating Solar Farms

Alternative energy connections for remote grids.

Could floating solar farms survive out at sea?  on the BBC

Getting electricity to all of Indonesia's islands is challenging    By Emma Woollacott, Technology of Business reporter   Indonesia is a nation of more than 10,000 islands, so supplying the whole country with electricity is a huge challenge.

More than a million people are not connected to the electricity grid at all.

"Those people who don't have electricity are living on remote islands, so in this situation it's hard to connect a cable to them and it's hard to install other expensive solutions such as wind turbines," says Luofeng Huang, a lecturer in mechanical engineering at Cranfield University.

Solar power is one option to provide those islands with energy. It has become much cheaper in recent decades - the International Energy Agency (IEA) says that it is becoming the cheapest option for new electricity power plants.

But solar farms take up lots of space - space that might be better used for housing, farming and business.  So scientists and engineers are working on ways to install solar panels on the ocean surface, providing power to those living onshore nearby.

"Floating solar is very convenient because it can just be put on top of the water, and if you need more electricity you can put on more solar panels," says Mr Huang.

Floating solar is already in use at a number of sites around the world, but on lakes, rather than the sea...'  

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