Mike Marsch, the head of solar development at BlueWave Solar, explains how floating solar panels (“floatovoltaics“) can plan a key role in delivering widely available community and privately owned renewable energy generation capacity. The Boston-based certified B Corp is on a mission to “revolutionize energy with simple, powerful solutions.” But solar faces challenges from communities that are concerned about local views, and floating solar has been opposed by vacation destinations along coasts. We must overcome some of those NIMBY objections to find a way to talk frankly about the benefits and urgency that make floating solar an important feature of our energy landscape. We explore where and how floatovoltaics can be deployed, and the environmental benefits of using human-made reservoirs to catch more of the sun’s energy.
Solar power is a keystone of the post-carbon economy, the goal we need to achieve as soon as possible to halt CO2 emissions that are raising the planet’s temperature. Fossil fuel-generated electricity is responsible for much of the increased occurrence of drought and extreme weather, it also leads to rising sea levels. But the tide could turn. The International Energy Agency reported that as of 2020 solar is the cheapest source of electricity. Floating solar panels enjoy advantages over land-based solar farms because the water cools the system, which makes it more efficient. You can learn more about BlueWave at https://bluewave.energy.