Belgian consortium launches project for solar modules at sea

Offshore zonnepanelen

Belgian consortium launches project for solar modules at sea

A consortium of dredging company Jan De Nul, sector member Deme, engineering firm Tractebel, solar module producer Soltech and Ghent University launches an innovative project for solar technology at sea. The project has a budget of around two million euros.

After floating solar panels in sheltered environments such as lakes and dams, offshore applications, with high waves, are the logical next step, it sounds in a press release. At least if the cost price of the technology for photovoltaic solar modules continues to fall. Factors such as the limited availability of land and the nimby effect (not in my backyard) are expected to contribute to market growth.

The consortium is therefore the first in Belgium to conduct research into such offshore solar energy. With a budget of around two million euros, the consortium wants to “develop new concepts and carry out tests in the laboratory and in practice in order to take the first steps towards the commercialization of the technology”.

Not only must existing solar modules be adapted to the rougher environment, a floating structure must also be designed. In addition, the impact on the environment must be limited as much as possible. The aim is “to be the first to set up offshore solar energy parks in the North Sea, possibly in combination with wind farms or aquaculture.”

The project was established in connection with the Blue Cluster, the collaboration between companies, knowledge institutions and the government to stimulate projects in the North Sea. It is strongly supported by the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Vlaio). The budget is the result of a collaboration between industry and government support, according to the consortium.

Source: De Standaard, 18 juli 2019 

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