SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – A Dutch consortium is to build the first offshore floating solar energy farm in the world, which the partners say could produce more power than land-based solar farms.
Six groups are involved in the project which will take three years and is co-financed by the Dutch government’s Enterprise Agency. The solar farm will be placed 15 kilometres off the Dutch coast at Scheveningen.
A floating energy farm fitted with solar panels could be a solution for places where there are no means to generate clean energy on land, project initiator Oceans of Energy said on its website Oceans of Energy and the University of Utrecht are together investigating the viability of electricity production at sea which is expected to yield 15% more power than a land-based facility.
According to the firm’s CEO Allard van Hoeken, solar farms at sea pose major challenges which can be conquered by putting together the experience and knowledge of Dutch knowledge institutions and offshore industry companies.
If the project is successful, solar power could potentially provide three quarters of the country’s energy needs, programme director of the solar power division of TKI Urban Energy Wijnand van Hooff said.
‘Projects like these are necessary to explore both the commercial and energetic potential of applications such as these,’ he said. The Netherlands is currently cutting down on gas extraction in the province of Groningen due to earthquakes and is phasing out the use of domestic low calorie gas in homes.
The government hopes that by 2050 all homes should have have switched to an alternative source of energy. (DutchNews)