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Japan Investigates Feasibility of Floating Solar Plants

In an effort to move away from nuclear power, Japan is investigating the utilization of all kinds of new technologies to replace the energy deficit. Still haunted by last year’s Fukushima disaster, the resource scarce country is struggling to find suitable replacements for its nuclear program.

Renewable energy sources offer the most attractive and safest option, yet Japan has decided that it should also look for a way in which to reduce the risk of damage from the numerous earthquakes that the island nation experiences every year. A clever idea to keep energy installations safe from earthquakes and tsunamis, is to build them on floating structures.

They have already installed a 100 kilowatt wind turbine about half a mile off the coast of the Nagasaki prefecture. Performance and maintenance data will be collected throughout the year, after which, depending on the success of the project, it will be replaced with a 2MW turbine.

Now the Japanese are looking at floating solar islands. Plans have been made to install 10 floating solar parks with a combined power capacity of 20MW. The first two installations will be located in a nature reserve in Saitama and a swamp in Osaka, with a total capacity of 3MW.

Floating solar panels are not a new idea; they are already used at a Nappa Valley winery as a means of creating solar electricity, without using valuable land for the solar arrays.

Comments (2)

  • Minwoo Kim

    Obama’s energy policy is right. The world goes solar. Japan’s FiT in July is among the highest in the world. Japan’s FiT is shaking the solar market. Now, United States has the same options. New solutions will be showed in Japan. This is it!
    As you know, earthquake in Japan is happening frequently. Floating solar panels installation is one of the best solutions for power crisis in Japan. So you have to reduce vibration to install Floating solar panels. Because, it makes many kinds of problems! Vibrations caused by wind, waves and external forces. New Floating Body Stabilizer for Floating solar panels installation has been created in South Korea. The Floating Body Stabilizers generate drag force immediately when Floating solar panels are being rolled and pitched on the water. Recently, these Floating Body Stabilizers have been used to reduce vibration of Floating Solar Panels in South Korea. You can watch New Floating Body Stabilizer videos on YouTube. http://youtu.be/O2oys_YHhCc, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA_xFp5ktbU&feature=youtu.be.

    Reply
  • George Currie

    The same high level of wave energy that makes floating solar PV so challenging in the seas around Japan are probably its best option for truly renewable energy.

    If Japan puts its undoubted engineering and technology development weight behind bringing wave and tidal energy solutions to a commercially viable level it could prove to be not only a game changer in the RE sector on a global scale, but also provide Japanese industrial houses with their next big opportunity in the energy sector.

    Reply

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