A groundbreaking experiment taking place in the China Yellow Sea, about 30 kilometers off the coast of Shandong province to generate electricity from offshore solar farms, offers a potential breakthrough in the clean energy sector.
In this ambitious project, two circular rafts carrying neat rows of solar panels began generating electricity late last year. This endeavor, a collaboration between State Power Investment Corp., China’s largest renewable energy developer, and Norway-based developer Ocean Sun AS, 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 minimise environmental impact.
Most initial trials of solar-at-sea have involved small-scale systems, and there are numerous challenges still to overcome — including higher costs and the impacts of corrosive salts or destructive winds. However, the experiment conducted in the China Yellow Sea demonstrated promising results. Despite waves reaching heights of up to 10 meters, the solar panels remained intact and continued generating electricity.
Industry experts say 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. Furthermore, integrating offshore solar farms with existing infrastructure could bring additional benefits. For instance, coastal cities could leverage these installations to power desalination plants or support other marine-related activities.
Original source Bloomberg
Offshore solar solutions
Universal Kraft works with floating solar installations, an innovative solution, especially for countries with lack of land. Despite a higher product cost, partly being compensated by a lower installation cost, floating solar systems are more efficient due to the cooling effect in the water decreasing thermal losses, making this solution, production wise, more competitive than ground systems. Universal Kraft is a pioneer in floating solar, having now a solid expertise and a designed portfolio of more than 230 MW. Currently, we are developing projects in Europe and Asia.