The electricity being generated from solar panels installed amidst challenging marine conditions has paved the way for the next clean energy breakthrough.
This groundbreaking experiment took place in the China Yellow Sea, about 30 kilometers off the coast of Shandong province, last year. The successful ambitious project was executed by State Power Investment Corp., China’s largest renewable energy developer, and Norway-based developer Ocean Sun AS. It utilised two circular rafts carrying neat rows of solar panels that began generating electricity late last year. The success of the project has raised potential possibilities about offshore locations, where countries can expand their renewable energy capacity and accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels.
As per the recent report, the installation of solar panels on offshore locations marks a potential breakthrough in the clean energy sector. It opens up new possibilities for harnessing renewable energy in land-constrained regions and further accelerates the transition away from fossil fuels.
“Offshore solar technology has been gaining attention as it offers several advantages over traditional land-based installations. The vast expanse of sea provides ample space for large-scale solar farms that can generate significant amounts of electricity. Additionally, these installations can avoid conflicts with existing land uses and minimize environmental impact,” said the report.
However, the report said that one notable challenge faced by offshore solar projects is the harsh marine environment. The rafts carrying the solar panels must withstand strong waves and wind conditions. The experiment conducted in the China Yellow Sea demonstrated promising results. Despite waves reaching heights of up to 10 meters (32 feet), the solar panels remained intact and continued generating electricity.
The report pointed put that the success of this high-profile test brings hope for future offshore solar projects around the world. “ By utilising untapped areas at sea, countries can tap into a vast source of renewable energy while preserving valuable land resources for other purposes,” it said.
Furthermore, industry experts feel that integrating offshore solar farms with existing infrastructure could bring additional benefits such as coastal cities could leverage these installations to power desalination plants or support other marine-related activities.
It is hoped that innovative solutions like offshore solar technology are crucial. as governments worldwide looking forward to meet their climate targets and reduce carbon emissions.