On June 20th, BNR Nieuwsradio Eyeopeners broadcast an interview with Bas Buchner, Director of MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Netherlands), and our Karina Czapiewska, explaining the need and extensive possibilities for floating developments, such as floating energy, aquaculture and cities.
Blue21 has recently collaborated with MARIN, Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, to bring the concept of floating cities to the next level. MARIN has developed a numerical model that can predict the response of different floating design configurations in waves. Meanwhile, Blue21 has investigated into different possibilities of floating city design configuration and connections. This model turns out to suit the interests of both parties very well as Blue21 could learn more about hydrodynamic interactions between connections at sea in several model tests and MARIN could use the results from model tests to validate the response of the floating island.
Want to know more? Read MARIN’s full article here.
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
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
Image Source: Water Governance
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).
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
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›
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
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