Engineering professors at Australian National University have published a new paper in which they explain how some regions on the equator would be ideal for floating solar because the waters there don’t have strong winds and large waves. Tropical storms rarely hit those regions.
The researchers assert that floating solar in those waters could generate up to a massive 1 million TWh per year. They note in an article in The Conversation that “that’s about five times more annual energy than is needed for a fully decarbonized global economy supporting 10 billion affluent people.”
The waters are categorized as calm if the waves are smaller than 6 meters and winds are weaker than 15 meters per second. The calmest waters are in and around Indonesia and equatorial West Africa, near Nigeria. So floating panels installed in those waters wouldn’t need strong, costly engineering defenses.
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