Floating PV boom era has started!

Image source: Kyocera

Recently many countries facing land scarcity issues have resorted to building PV systems on water as an innovative and less costly way to create extra “space” for generating renewable energy. Floating PV system refers to the installation of solar PV modules on a structure that afloats on water bodies that have lower human accessibility and/or where water conservation is needed, such as retention ponds of wastewater treatment plants, lakes or reservoirs etc.. The benefits of floating PV systems are multifaceted. For instance, a floating PV system has higher power generation efficiency than land-based PV system due to natural evaporative cooling effects from the water. Moreover, by covering a certain percentage of the water body with the PV system, water quality can be improved as less photosynthesis takes place in the water which lowers the risk of having algae bloom.

The first floating PV installation was tested in California in 2007. And globally, there were only three floating PV systems being built before 2014, according to Solarplaza, an independent website platform for knowledge and insights on global solar PV industry. Nevertheless, over the past two years, the amount has escalated to exceeding 70. In particular, it is believed that currently Japan and UK have taken the lead in building testing floating solar farms by far. However, many realizations and new proposals have been in the pipeline elsewhere in the world.

In October, 2016, Singapore launched the world’s largest floating solar PV system test bed where 10 different solar PV systems would be tested and monitored in order to select the one of best performance for scaling up. This year, new pilot projects have been launched in India and Hong Kong. Not long ago this month, China has also just completed the world’s largest floating PV facility and connected it to the local power grid. A market research firm has even concluded that the market of floating solar panels is expected to reach 2.5 GW globally by 2024, leading people to believe that the floating PV boom era might have started!

For more background information about the floating PV market, please read Floating Solar Plants: Niche Rising to the Surface? by SolarPlaza

 

 

Blue21’s article ‘A Blue Quantum Leap’ published by Water Governance Magazine, STOWA

Image Source: Water Governance

We are pleased to announce that our article Een Blauwe Kwantumsprong: Welke Governance Opties Hebben We? [A Blue Quantum Leap: What Governance Options Do We Have?] written by co-founder of Blue21, Dr. Rutger de Graaf-van Dinther, was accepted for publication on the Water Governance Magazine, under the theme Energietransitie [Energy Transition].

In this article, large development and revolutions in humanity are discussed. Within the history of humanity and its revolutions, the ‘Blue Revolution’ aims at providing a comprehensive and innovative approach to urban spatial planning, creating opportunities for natural conservation, sustainable food and energy production while tackling global crises such as climate change, overpopulation and land shortage. The question of how to manage such new water-based development within the current complex social hierarchy and governance structures is discussed.

Dr. de Graaf-van Dinther explains the three phases in the “Blue Quantum Leap”. Phase I describes a floating community begins developing within an existing urban governance structures. In Phase 2 the community grows into a floating district along the coast of a country, where it is controlled as a regular municipality. In Phase 3, the floating district eventually evolves into an autonomous floating city outside the territorial waters. Within the newly developed societies, the concept of “competitive governance strategy” and the rights for people to migrate freely should be universally respected.

To read the full article (in Dutch), please see Page 27 in the publication of 01/2017 from Water Governance.nl

Blue21 in the 1st Tahitian Seasteading Gathering!

Image Source: The Seasteading Institute

The First International Conference on Floating Islands will take place next week in Tahiti. From 15th to 18th May dozens of technologists, entrepreneurs and researchers in the field of sustainable development will come together to share their knowledge and visions on creating the first floating islands in the world in French Polynesia.

Earlier this year The Seasteading Institute and the Government of French Polynesia signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on creating a legal framework for prospective seasteads in French Polynesia. The Floating Island Project aims at advancing French Polynesia’s blue economy initiative, offering solutions to adapt to rising sea levels and creating a fresh space for pioneering social innovations.

Blue21 is collaborating with The Seasteading Institute on the Floating Island Project and will be present at the event. Co-founders Bart Roeffen and Karina Czapiewska will introduce an innovative environmental assessment framework for floating development that aims at creating climate-proof space for communities while providing benefits for local ecosystems. Curious? Follow Blue21’s presentation and other inspiring talks livestream on May 15, 16 & 18, 2017 (Tahiti time, UTC-10:00).

Floating bridge in Angkor Wat, Cambodia near completion

A temporary floating bridge is being constructed in Angkor Wat, Cambodia, that will allow local visitors and tourists to continue visiting the famous temple while reconstruction work on the original bridge gets underway. The repairs require total closure of the original Spean Harl bridge so that experts from APSARA Authority and Sophia University can restore it.

The floating bridge is nearly 200 metres long and 10 meters wide and will be able to support a total of over 6000 people at any given time. Made of polyethylene airbags, the material is strong enough to withstand use for up to 20 years. The plastic bridge will have six viewing areas where visitors can stop to take photographs and admire the ancient temple and should be ready for use before May.

Image source: APSARA Authority

Blue21 article ‘Potential of Floating Production for delta and coastal cities’ published by Elsevier

We are very proud to announce that our article “Potential of Floating Production for delta and coastal cities” was accepted for publication on Elsevier’s Journal of Cleaner Production.

The article presents the results of our research on the BlueRevolution potential for cities. Water space nearby cities provides an opportunity for closing cities resource cycles and accelerating the transition to a bio-based economy. Reusing waste nutrients and carbon dioxide available in cities, biofuel and food can be produced on water through algae and aquaponic systems. The direct effects on local resiliency and the role of floating production in global land shortage reduction are discussed for two case studies, Rotterdam and Metro Manila. The publishers version is available on ScienceDirect and you can find the full manuscript on our website now.

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