Offshore wind farms within the North Sea will quickly be supplemented by “floating solar parks” beneath a brand new plan to spice up renewable power in Europe and scale back reliance on Russian fuel.
Dutch/Norwegian startup SolarDuck partnered with German power agency RWE for the undertaking, which is able to see a pilot set up positioned within the sea off the coast of Ostend in Belgium.
Arrays of photo voltaic panels will utilise the identical undersea cables that carry electrical energy generated by wind generators ashore, which means advanced infrastructure will not be required to set them up.
“The need for secure, sustainable and affordable energy demands new and immediate answers from the industry in Europe and also globally,” mentioned SolarDuck CEO Koen Burgers.
“Showcasing SolarDuck’s robust technology in rough North Sea conditions will enable us to deploy the technology practically anywhere in the world.”
The photo voltaic park will see photovoltaic panels linked collectively, floating a number of metres above the water to journey waves “like a carpet”.
The pilot can have a capability of 0.5MW by subsequent yr, with hopes that additional commercialisation of the know-how will proceed from 2023 onwards.
RWE mentioned the undertaking offered a solution to rising land shortage for the era of renewable power, and mentioned it’ll present a blueprint for future mixed wind and photo voltaic offshore services.
“RWE is constantly looking for innovative ways to further improve the production of renewable energy offshore,” mentioned Sven Utermöhlen, CEO of Wind Offshore at RWE Renewables.
“For countries with lower mean wind speeds but high solar irradiation, this opens up attractive opportunities… We want to contribute to accelerate the energy transition, have a positive impact on marine ecology and help to integrate energy systems.”