Friday, May 30, 2008

Solar power from huge islands floating on the ocean

It sounds weird, but could it work? Can we help solve the CO2 crisis with huge floating islands of solar cells?

Thomas Hinderling wants to build solar islands several miles across that he claims can produce hundreds of megawatts of relatively inexpensive power. He's the CEO of the Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique, a private R & D company.

I'm skeptical these islands would withstand the ocean environment, and some researchers think desert land is a better place for large solar power plants.

One side effect, the islands would attract fish, and I'm sure somebody would want to go fishing there. Could help lower the cost, I suppose, by selling fishing rights.

hat tip: wired science


Tim Adams said...

Has anyone wondered why an institute in a landlocked country like Switzerland would have a particular advantage researching ocean-based power generation?

Jim in KFalls said...

Don't mind the idea of solar cells - but my reservations would be: can it stand up to the elements, what is the environmental impact, could one of these be placed on the "dead zone" off of the oregon coast, what is the cost/production ratio, and can we get a private organization to invest in this rather than public organizations?

I don't think it would be wise to install one of these and then charge people to fish near it. I think fishermen pay through the nose as it is.