A large solar power project is set to take place at an offshore seaweed farm in the North Sea, which aims to pipe energy to the Dutch mainland in roughly three years.
Energy providers, scientists, and researchers plan to operate 2,500 square meters of floating solar panels by 2021, following an initial pilot next year. The pilot will receive 1.2 million euros in government funding and will operate 30 square meters of panels from this summer. All variables will be tested and monitored including equipment, weather conditions, environmental impact, and energy output.
There are many benefits expected from the offshore development, incredibly similar to offshore wind farm projects. Solar energy expert Wilfried van Sark explains “There is more sun at sea and there is the added benefit of a cooling system for the panels, which boosts output by up to 15 percent”. Benefits can also include the opportunity to expand if the project is a success, without impacting an overcrowded mainland.
Allard van Hoeken, founder of Oceans of Energy expects offshore solar energy will eventually be a cheaper form of energy production compared to offshore wind and mainline power. This, therefore, offers reason for further solar panel demand and expansion.
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