Floating solar panels could fully provide the population and industry around the world with energy. This is stated in an article that appeared in Nature Sustainability.
The researchers found that solar panels suspended above water (floatoltaics) work as efficiently as those installed on land. They represent a relatively cheap way to generate renewable energy while storing water.
The researchers claim that floating solar panels located on nearby reservoirs will theoretically meet electricity demand in 6,256 cities in 124 countries. The only requirement is to cover about 30% of the surface of the water. The conclusion is based on the analysis of 114,555 reservoirs around the world and subsequent modeling of energy production taking into account climatic conditions.
Also, by reducing evaporation, significant water savings will occur. This is due to the blocking of sunlight by floating panels. The total water conservation will be equal to the amount needed by 300 million people for annual needs. In addition, the panels will not take up space on the ground.
Among the negative consequences, there is a drop in oxygen in the water and harm to fish due to the coating of a large part of the reservoir with panels. Therefore, developers need to evaluate each reservoir separately. It is also emphasized that the coating of artificial reservoirs with panels is less harmful than the use of natural ones for this purpose.
We will remind, the American startup Lonestar Data Holdings goes into outer space. To finance the project for the construction of a data center on the Moon, investments in the amount of $5 million were attracted. The first server is scheduled to launch in late 2023.