The advantages of solar farms built on water are abundant for the environment.

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Japan’s floating solar stations
By Michelle Robertson
As a result of Japan’s nuclear disaster, solar power is fast becoming the favourite form of sustainable energy in that country. Their aim is to double the amount of renewable energy output by 2030, and a large part of that plan rests on huge solar installations that are built on water. Two of these new floating stations are already functioning and they each generate enough electricity to power 900 households. Plans are being laid for a much bigger solar power station to be built on water just east of Tokyo. It will be the largest system of its kind on Earth, and this “mega-plant” could power a staggering 5,000 households.

Similar projects are underway in India, Australia, Great Britain, Brazil and California. The advantages of solar farms built on water compared to traditional land-based installations are abundant for the environment. The most obvious improvement is that these plants generate power more efficiently because of the cooling effect of the water underneath. A second benefit is that the solar panels shield the water from the sun, so water is  conserved because evaporation is greatly reduced. The installations have also been deemed as “earthquake proof” and can withstand severe hurricane winds according to Kyocera.

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