Floating Solar Arrays Point to Bright Future for Clean Energy

Posted on October 8th, 2016 in solar by Spencer R.



The potential of solar power is significant, with the International Energy Agency previously stating that the sun could be the planet’s biggest source of electricity by 2050.

In the U.K., the appetite for solar among some is becoming increasingly stronger. “We’re in the middle of what you can only describe as an energy revolution in the U.K.,” Alan Whitehead, member of parliament for the opposition Labour Party, told CNBC.

“Solar power is now becoming increasingly central to U.K. power production,” Whitehead added. “The deployment of solar is racing way ahead of what was thought was going to be the curve, and it’s now making a real impact on energy systems.”

The U.K. is home to what is claimed to be the largest floating solar panel array in Europe. The array, based in the south of England, was installed by Lightsource Renewable Energy. The array is set to generate 5.8 million kilowatt hours in its first year of operation.

Commenting on the benefits of solar in general Nick Boyle, founder and CEO of Lightsource Renewable Energy, said the business was, “now in a position for the first time – and it’s a really interesting inflection point – where I can go to large electricity users and offer to undercut what they’re paying today.”

Boyle went on to explain that the predictable nature of solar meant that it also generated a predictable revenue stream, making it an attractive investment product.

For Lightsource, there are several plus points to floating solar arrays. “One of the major benefits to floating solar is that there is all this space in areas of London or other cities, where you have a large area on top of the reservoir that’s not being used,” Liv Harder, senior development manager at the company, said.

“It has definitely become more affordable to do projects like these over the last few years,” Harder added. “The cost of panels has gone down nine times in the last five (years) alone, and the floats themselves also continue to go down in price as more and more installations go up.”

In the U.S., the solar industry seems to be in good health. At the beginning of this year it was revealed that the U.S. solar industry installed 7,286 megawatts of solar power in 2015, according to data from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association.

The figures represent an increase of over 1,000 megawatts of solar photovoltaic installations compared to 2014. Photovoltaic technology is able to directly convert sunlight into electrical energy.

According to the data, solar beat natural gas capacity additions for the first time ever, with 29.5 percent of all new electric generating capacity met by solar power in 2015.

Back in the U.K., Alan Whitehead was also confident about solar’s prospects. “The future of solar power is incredibly bright,” he said. “Solar has a wonderful future I think, it’s one of those technologies that is absolutely game changing.”


N.C. ranks 3rd in nation for solar power

Posted on July 26th, 2016 in solar by Spencer R.

Soon after the Department of Navy partnered with local military officials to begin implementing renewable energy projects, North Carolina was ranked third in the nation for solar power capacity by the Solar Energy Industries Association.


Cuyahoga County seeks to buy wind power indirectly from LEEDCo, planned solar array

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 in solar by Spencer R.

Cuyahoga County wants to support the wind turbine project in Lake Erie by purchasing a portion of the output for the next 20 years.


Racine bakery adds solar power

Posted on July 21st, 2016 in solar by Spencer R.

A Wisconsin mainstay has recently gone green. O&H Danish Bakery best known for its Kringle has recently added solar power to it's new Mount Pleasant facility. 


China hopes to build a $50 trillion global wind and solar power grid by 2050

Posted on July 18th, 2016 in solar by Spencer R.

One thing you can't fault China for is lack of ambition. By 2050, the country hopes to lead efforts to build a $50 trillion global wind and solar power grid that would completely change how the world is powered.



California’s biggest utilities break own record for solar power

Posted on July 18th, 2016 in solar by Spencer R.


California’s booming solar industry had a record day this week when the state’s largest utilities generated more power than ever from the sun.


Hanergy Launches Full Solar Power Vehicles That Can Be Commercialized

Posted on July 5th, 2016 in solar by Spencer R.

Hanergy Holding Group, the world's leading thin-film solar power company, launched four full solar power vehicles at a grand ceremony themed "Disruptive Innovations Drive the Future" outside its headquarters in Beijing on July 2. Over 4,000 guests from all sectors of society attended the event.


How India's 'smart villages' are centralising solar power

Posted on July 5th, 2016 in solar by Spencer R.

The Indian government has committed 980bn rupees ($14.5bn; £10.9bn) to a flagship smart cities' programme, but the social entrepreneur behind the country's first smart village thinks they've missed some low-hanging fruit.


World Bank Approves $1 Billion For India’s Solar Power Program

Posted on July 5th, 2016 in solar by Spencer R.

India’s ambitious solar power program has received another major boost from the World Bank.


Route 66 Will Get a Dose of Solar Power in Southwest Missouri

Posted on June 29th, 2016 in solar by Spencer R.

The first public roadway in the United States to receive the solar treatment will be a stretch of Route 66 right here in Missouri.