Kyocera Announces Largest Floating Solar Farm in the World
The world may already be familiar with offshore wind, but what about offshore solar?
Japanese technology giant Kyocera has announced the beginning of one of its most ambitious projects yet: a floating solar farm. The project, which will have a generating capacity of 2.9 MW, is being undertaken in partnership with Century Tokyo Leasing Corp.
Floating solar aims to solve one of Japan’s biggest issues with solar: the lack of space for large-scale installations. There are concerns in the country that solar installations take up much-needed agricultural land.
The project will be comprised of two different installations with a 1.7 and 1.2 MW generating capacity. Both will be in Kato City in Hyogo Prefecture.
Kyocera also believes the water will help keep the panels cool, allowing for a higher efficiency rate. This isn’t the only benefit, though. According to the company, floating solar panels prevent algae growth by shading the water, are 100% recyclable, and can withstand extreme weather conditions such as typhoons.
While the concept of a floating solar farm sounds revolutionary, France’s Ciel et Terre—a partner on the project and supplier of panels—has had a floating farm since 2011. According to New Civil Engineer, the project will be based on the company’s Hydrelio concept.
“A basic module is formed from two blow-moulded floats made with HDPE (high-density polythene) plastic,” they explain. “One float supports the solar panel and the other provides a tab connection to other floats, and also provides maintenance access. The floats are then joined together to form solar ‘islands’, using connection pins.” For a visual explantion, see this image:
The project is expected to be completed in March of next year.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.