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.

Former President of French Polynesia meets Blue21 in Rotterdam

In light of recent news that French Polynesia will likely host the first floating islands with special governing framework, former French Polynesian president, and current Mayor of Faa’a (a city on the island of Tahiti), Mr. Oscar Temaru visited the Netherlands to meet with Blue21, a collaborator of The Seasteading Institute on the French Polynesia floating island project, which has gained extensive international attention. During this first face-to-face meeting, both parties expressed hopes, concerns and expectations regarding the floating development in French Polynesia.

Read More

Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation to reside in the Netherlands

On the 6th of February 2017 the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment signed a Statement of Intent, together with global partners, which marks the start of the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation. The Centre will address the challenges faced when dealing with climate change adaptation issues. The initiative will be led by the Netherlands, Japan and UN Environment.

The ground-breaking Paris Climate Change Agreement has made climate change adaptation a global priority. By supporting those that struggle with climate change adaptation and developing a pool of global knowledge on the subject, The Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation hopes to contribute to the resilience of our planet whilst helping others that are dealing with issues such as natural disasters and economic disruptions.

For more information go to Government.nl

Massive photovoltaic power station built on fishery in China now operational

In Cixi City in the Zhejiang Province in eastern China a solar power station with a 200 MegaWatt capacity has been installed above a fish farm. China’s largest photovoltaic (PV) solar farm consists of 300 hectares of solar panels that can generate enough power for 100.000 households. By connecting the power station to the national grid, the fishery can expected an annual yield of 240 million RMB (US$34M) above the annual income already generated through the fish farm.

The solar panels have intentionally been spaced far enough apart in order to let sunlight penetrate the water so not to disturb the growth of the fish beneath the surface. In addition the PV panels installed above the pond will provide shade that will facilitate fish farming under the water. The renewable energy concept might just inspire other fisheries to follow this example.

Image source: People’s Daily Online

As Climate Change Accelerates, Floating Cities Look Like Less of a Pipe Dream

That was the headline in the New York Times last week when the news broke about The Seasteading Institute’s plans to develop the first floating city in the waters of French Polynesia. The project has gained extensive international attention with prominent (online) newspapers covering the story such as The Daily Mail Online, The Dutch Cowboys and De Tijd.

To date, The Seasteading Institute has raised around $ 2.5 million from more than 1.000 investors to take the first steps in realising a seastead in a lagoon off the island of Tahiti. It is estimated that a total of between US $10 million and US $50 million will be needed to realise this ambitious plan.

The floating city will consist of 16 platforms made from reinforced concrete that will be strong enough to support three-storey buildings such as appartments, hotels and offices. Blue21 has been collaborating with The Seasteading Institute on the design of the sustainable modular platforms which will enable inhabitants to rearrange them according to their needs. Over the coming months Blue21 will continue collaborating with the Seasteading Institute to finalize the design of the floating city and the plans for development. Construction should start by 2019.

Where privately funded organisation such as The Seasteading Institute have clear ideas on how to overcome the challanges that climate change bring us, governments seem to be less focussed on battling these dangers. In the run-up to the upcoming elections in The Netherlands the national newspaper Trouw looked into the plans running political parties have for taking a stand in climate change. Unfortunately none of the parties seem to have a clear strategy on how to proceed. Let’s hope that the government will be inspired by the historical deal made in French Polynesia and take concrete steps against climate change in other parts of the world.

Image source: The Seasteading Institute

World’s first floating city to be developed in French Polynesia

French Polynesia has signed an historic agreement that will allow for the development of the first floating city in a lagoon in French Polynesia. During a visit to The Seasteading Institute in California on the 13th of January a memorandum of understanding was signed by Mr. Jean Christophe Bouissou, Minister of Housing and the government’s official spokesperson on behalf of French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch. Blue21 co-founder Karina Czapiewska was there on this memorable occasion.

The floating city is to be developed in a lagoon off the island of Tahiti. Suitable locations will be sought in sheltered waters behind a reef break so that the island will be protected from large waves. Environmental and economic impact studies will then be conducted to ensure that it will benefit the local economy and avoid damaging the environment.

The special governing framework needed to realize the development will be completed by the end of 2017, studies into the project should reach completion by 2018. Construction of the pilot project based on Blue21’s sustainable modular platform design, will hopefully start in 2019 and is estimated to cost between US $10 million and US $50 million.

This exciting new development has been picked up by media around the world with BBC News and Global Construction Review reporting on the news. Visit The Seasteading Institute’s website for more information on the collaboration with French Polynesia.

Image source: The Seasteading Institute

Page 1 of 1012345...10...Last »