Finding a way to provide millions of people with power is not an easy thing to do. With less land to use and demands for more economical power supplies, providers have a challenge on their hands. However, 2019 marks an important change in the way we create electricity.
According to some, 2019 is to be the year of floating solar. More and more countries are using this approach to generate electricity supplies, showing longevity in the method.
Pros (and cons) of Solar Power
In the last few years solar power has become extremely popular in the UK. Panels have been installed on roofs of homes and small farms set up across the world. These help to create a renewable energy source, allowing people to keep their lives as environmentally friendly as possible.
Some other huge benefits of using solar power include the production of clean energy and a reduction in energy costs. Also, panels are normally simple and easy to install giving you less to worry about.
Although, it is still worth balancing up the cons. Whilst some people like panels, others do not and this can cause a negative impact on value. Alongside this, you cannot solely rely on panels to produce electricity. They will help to reduce costs, but not eradicate them completely.
Solar Water Farms Are Different
With all that being said, floating solar panels offer something new. A huge issue with solar panels is finding room to put them. With less land to build on and more people to provide with electricity, there needs to be a new approach to energy creation.
Finding space can be difficult, time-consuming as well as expensive. For example, in Taiwan any land that is not a mountain or used for cities is dedicated to agriculture. This is why Google are instead using floating solar to help generate power for their regional data centre.
Water Makes All The Difference
Unknown to most, water can actually make all the difference when it comes to converting energy to electricity. To most of us the thought of mixing water and electric is terrifying. We’ve all been taught from a young age that the two aren’t compatible. However, in the case of solar farms, this isn’t a concern.
Instead, water helps to improve the productivity of a solar farm. If the internal temperature of a panel gets too high, then less energy is absorbed. If these panels are placed on water, then these issues are solved. Water is naturally cool and this gives any panels floating on top extra protection from heat.
In addition, if a farm is set on a lake or reservoir it can reduce evaporation. With surface area covered, it is much harder for a reduction in water to take place.
Speaking to Clean Technica, the CEO of Norway’s Statkraft Christian Rynning-Tønnesen said that solar can also work hand in hand with hydropower. He added that ‘solar by day and hydro by night can all be done in one plant, at a large scale’. This shows potential growth in the future for the method and how it could impact the future of electricity.