This being said, solar has its drawbacks, and they’re considerable. Solar is not particularly space-efficient, and while it’s become much more affordable in recent years, it’s still not the cheapest form of energy production by any means.
While not all of these limitations have an immediate and obvious solution, there is one solution, yet to be widely adopted, that helps with two of these drawbacks: offshore solar. Cheap it is not, but the growing offshore sector of the solar industry has a lot of unique advantages.
Despite a pricey installation, floating solar panels are ultimately more efficient thanks to the cooling effect of the water, which cuts down on thermal losses and thereby gives the solar panels a longer overall lifespan. In addition to its increased efficiency, offshore solar also offers more flexibility to build wherever the sun shines strongest as well as being able to build where space is not at a premium.
One nation taking advantage of the nascent offshore solar industry is Singapore. The tiny nation may be one of the world’s more powerful economies as well as a major energy consumer, but when it comes to energy production, the 278.6 mi² country simply doesn’t have enough space for any large-scale solar panel installation. Enter offshore solar.
By Haley Zaremba for Oilprice.com
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