Why we need floating power plants?

13.Why we need floating power plants_ - Top 10 Solar Energy Startups in 2022

Energy is the need

A future without energy is not the ideal image for a prosperous economy. The demand for electricity consumption has shown an upsurge, and the graph is growing at a rapid pace. Energy Researchers, Scientists & Engineers are finding possible solutions to cut down the use of onshore energy plants. 

Electricity production from wind farms & solar plants is increasing. But, now we are nearing the limit of solar & wind farms as we are running out of potential land that can cater to these energy parks. Decades back, offshore wind turbines were being tested for commercial use on the European continent. The results were promising, which led to the popularisation of offshore wind farms. 

Energy generation 

India has almost 99% of electricity coverage on its mainland and island states. We have an installed capacity of 3,88,134 MW. In this fossil fuels share 75% of the total production & renewable energy sources have a share of around 24%. 

History of floating power plants

In December 2007, Blue H technologies of the Netherlands deployed the world’s first floating wind turbine on Italy’s seacoast. The wind turbine was on a test run. It was decommissioned in 2008. Data gathered from it showcased wind patterns and sea conditions. The test module wind turbine was an 80kw prototype installed 113 meters deep in water. 

Later, in September 2009, a 2.3-megawatt floating wind turbine was installed in the North Sea near Norway. The test was successful as the wind turbine survived 19m waves & 40 m/s wind speed. 

The world’s first floating wind farm was installed off the coast of Scotland in 2017. It reached an average capacity factor of 57.1% in just twelve months to March 2020. It clearly indicates how effective offshore/floating power plants could be. 

Types of floating power plants 

The two types of energy producers are the choice, as we are reducing dependency on fossil fuels that are also known as non-renewable sources. Floating solar panels & Offshore wind farms are currently the best alternatives to coal & other fossil fuel energy sources.

Offshore / Floating Wind turbines

The idea of a floating wind farm surfaced after the onshore wind farms were seen to be delivering less output as per the expectations. Later, land acquisition was the hurdle that created the need for this. One factor was the abundance of wind flow on the coastline that was less dense on the land surface area.

Floating Solar Power Plants 

The floating solar power plants initially started floating in 2007. The reason it got afloat was the land occupancy. Agricultural land was being utilized for such mega projects. This created the need for an alternate surface that would balance the need for electricity generation and the environment. 

The main advantage of floating PV plants is that they require no land for setting panels. It just requires land for grid connections & cabinets. Water evaporation can be reduced by installing PV panels on the surface of the water. Some studies have shown a 60% reduction in evaporation.  

Energy crisis in 2021 

Do you remember the time in October 2021 when China was facing massive blackouts due to shortage of coal? Even India was not far behind in this crisis. It showed how over-dependent we are on such energy resources. 

The import bills imbalance the national budget that forces the government to increase tariffs & taxes due to the rise in gas & non-renewable resources. It affects our daily life and family budgets. Choosing renewable energy resources could help us cut our bills as it will affect the transport industry, production & service industry. 

– Parag Ahire

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