DOE urges private sector to invest in floating solar

TO BOOST the country’s renewable energy (RE) sector, the Department of Energy (DOE) is looking into floating solar energy to complement the existing natural sources.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said several pilot programs on floating solar energy were launched to increase efforts of the country to attain its goal of energy security.

“It is still in its pilot stages in our country, and the few floating solar projects we have are being evaluated for their ability to withstand heavy weather disturbances and their consequences. Nevertheless, floating solar facilities could be a potential game changer should the pilots prove to be successful,” Cusi said in a speech.

Even if the floating solar technology is new, Cusi said it would complement existing RE sources like hydrodams.

“It’s the private sector doing it. It’s a floating solar on top of the dam because we have hydrodams, so the surface is available. We are now testing the solar being placed on top of the water,” he said.

The energy chief said solar projects would often take up a huge space of agricultural land because of its requirement, so for it not to compete, they are trying it above the dam.

Cusi is urging investors to go into RE like the floating solar to have enough power to support the economy.

“Some of its considerable advantages include improving our capability to maximize land use allocation for other purposes such as farming, agriculture or as locations for key infrastructure; higher electricity generation efficiencies; a decrease in water evaporation in project sites, which in turn, increase the amount of water that could be used for drinking or irrigation; and slowed algae growth, which would help marine, plant and animal life flourish,” he said.

Winnergy Holdings Inc. commissioned a 10-kilowatt-peak floating solar farm on Laguna Lake in Rizal in 2018. The project is said to be the first floating solar farm in the Philippines.

The technology involves deploying solar photovoltaic panels on the surface of a body of water. (JOB)


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