Photovoltaic panels soaking up the sun’s rays are a phenomenon we usually associate with land. But floating facilities are becoming a trend in both Europe and Germany.
The European market leader for such facilities is German company BayWa r.e. It has already constructed six floating solar parks with an annual capacity of more than 80 megawatts in the Netherlands. That’s enough to provide 22,000 household with electricity. It’s the largest facility outside of Asia, where water-based solar power is quite common.
Experts see great potential for floating facilities as well in Germany, with its numerous artificial lakes on the sites of decommissioned coal mines. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) estimates the possible capacity of 56 gigawatt peak.
A further advantage is that the facilities are relatively environmentally friendly and may even limit the spread of algae that can render artificial lakes toxic.