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Energy

Floating an idea: If land is a hurdle for solar-power projects, how about putting them on water?

In India, where land availability often nixes solar plans, floating solar-power plants offer a viable solution. While they have their unique design challenges and are more expensive to instal, they are more efficient than solar plants on land. Moreover, they help conserve a vital resource — water.
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3 Jul 2019 4 Mins Read 1 comments
Cables lead away from the Yamakura Dam floating solar plant in Ichihara, Japan. Getty Images
Cables lead away from the Yamakura Dam floating solar plant in Ichihara, Japan.
Want to generate solar power on a large scale? You need to mount plants at locations that get sunlight much of the year. But in a country with a population like India’s, land is precious. Besides, land acquisition for industry presents a huge hurdle. Where is the solar industry to go? Why, turn to water, says Vivek Jha,
targets. Although solar experts believe floating solar-power systems can be game changers, environmentalists believe otherwise. They argue that such systems pose a threat to the ecosystems of water bodies. “Will water birds still be attracted to a water body after such units are set up? Can they nest there?” asks an environmentalist. ( Graphics by Mohammad Arshad)
Want to generate solar power on a large scale? You need to mount plants at locations that get sunlight much of the year. But in a country with a population like India’s, land is precious. Besides, land acquisition for industry presents a huge hurdle. Where is the solar industry to go? Why, turn to water, says Vivek Jha, targets. Although solar experts believe floating solar-power systems can be game changers, environmentalists believe otherwise. They argue that such systems pose a threat to the ecosystems of water bodies. “Will water birds still be attracted to a water body after such units are set up? Can they nest there?” asks an environmentalist. ( Graphics by Mohammad Arshad)

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