Lately Japan is facing an energy and space crisis. It's been several years since the disaster of Fukushima and looks like Japanese people are still undecided on where to draw the energy they need. Despite the tragedy the government did not retreat from the nuclear path, but on the other hand investments in clean technologies are growing. An example is the new ambitious project of the floating photovoltaic system of Kyocera Solar TC Yakamura that will lie on the waters of a dam, representing the largest solar establishment in the world.
After getting the green light from the authorities, the construction site was operating and, if all goes according to the plan, the ribbon cutting is scheduled for March 2018. By then it is expected that the waters of the hydroelectric reservoir will be covered by 180,000 meters square panels, equivalent to 51,000 solar modules by Kyocera solar TC. This seems to be the most positive solution to this crisis. Big investments in renewables, and particularly those that extend on rooftops or lakes, are part of Japan’s plan to become less reliant on imports.
Floating panels have many advantages. Once up to speed it is expected that the center will produce about 16,170 MWh per year, a sufficient quantity to power about 4,970 Japanese homes. This also means that CO2 emissions will be reduced by approximately 8170 tons, as 19,000 barrels of oil will be spared. Kyocera Solar TC seems to have decided to undertake this floating system specifically in Japan because the government of the country, encouraging the use of photovoltaics, has allowed a rapid diffusion of technology for a short time decreasing, however, the amount of "free" ground. The use of a floating solar panels system might be desirable also because it offers the advantage of reducing the water evaporation and growth of algae, through shading. Furthermore, this type of platforms are recyclable, corrosion-resistant and designed to withstand any physical stress, including typhoons, which are quite frequent in the area.
Source: Quartz, Images: TakePart, Japan Times