Today’s Solutions: December 09, 2022

As the threat of climate change intensifies, countries are beginning to take a serious look at the logistics of stepping away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources. Building offshore renewable energy infrastructure is a key aspect of this transition, and engineers are now working to build structures that can withstand the strong forces of the ocean.

With that in mind, Dutch offshore solar energy company SolarDuck has built a new solar power platform that can withstand waves of up to 10 ft (3 m) high. Called the “Demonstrator,” the structure was recently towed upriver in the Netherlands to simulate some of the wind and water stresses of being out at the open sea, and the results were promising.

While the main aim is to install the platform in cities and islands near to the equator — where there’s lots of sunshine and little wind — the company’s CTO, Don Hoogendoorn, explained in an interview with Interesting Engineering how SolarDuck’s next version of the Demonstrator “can withstand hurricane forces” experienced in and around Bermuda and Florida

Featuring an adaptable triangular shape, SolarDuck’s floating solar structure was designed to be able to handle coastal sea conditions and hurricane winds but also optimized for natural harbors, estuaries, and other near-shore regions. These features are particularly important in many places around the world, including land-scarce Singapore, where the lack of available land for building renewable energy infrastructure is a primary concern.

SolarDuck is now working on making the Demonstrator 13 times bigger to enable it to generate as much electricity as offshore fixed wind turbines, while also making it more resistant in the face of intensifying weather conditions associated with climate change. It may take a while until such floating solar structures become widespread across the globe, but in the coming years, they can offer coastal cities a new way to significantly boost their green energy production.

Image source: SolarDuck

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Sweden to introduce off-grid communities that fully sustain themselves

To ensure that communities around the world become future-proof and resilient in the face of climate change, it’s essential to create development models that ...

Read More

The Climate Diet: A guide to living for a greener future

We at The Optimist Daily are big fans of lifestyle changes that contribute towards slashing greenhouse gas emissions and offer a sense of autonomy ...

Read More

Okra: the surprising hero in the fight against microplastics

According to new research from scientists at Tarleton State University in Texas, okra — you know, the green, finger-shaped pod that is often added ...

Read More

White House and 11 East Coast states partner to bolster offshore wind power

On Thursday, the White House announced that it will partner with 11 East Coast states to bolster offshore wind energy.  This arrangement, called the ...

Read More