All the countries of the world gathered these days in Egypt to talk about climate and energy.
We must reach the goal of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees, which the world’s most powerful countries have agreed upon.
How can we then reduce our dependence on fossil fuels?
A small Norwegian entrepreneur based in Fornebu thinks it has a solution:
liquid solar cells.
In collaboration with one of the world’s largest energy companies, Norwegian Ocean Sun will build a larger offshore facility with floating solar panels.
The project is located in Haiyang outside of Shandong Province in China.
– If we can prove that this works well, it has very big development potential, Ocean Sun CEO Børge Bjørneklett tells NRK.
In all, the facility must have a capacity of 0.5 megawatts, or 500 kilowatts, which must be connected to the same power grid as the wind turbines.
If all goes well, the project can be expanded up to 20 megawatts already in 2023.
Bjornclet says Ocean Sun has a very special technology.
– Liquid solar energy is a very new industrial area. We’ve found a proprietary technical solution that’s cost-effective and also means the solar cells can be located at sea, he says.
The technology combines unique Norwegian expertise in both fish farming and offshore wind, says Bjørneklett.
He says the benefits are many:
– Large solar power plants occupy very large areas, often conflicting with agricultural or recreational areas, or high population densities in general. If you can put it on the water, it opens up opportunities for you to develop, says the manager.
– Also when connected to a wind turbine, you can produce power even when the wind is low. This, Bjørneklett asserts, makes better use of the existing wire network.
Contact with water, he adds, lowers the temperature, making electricity production more efficient. In addition, the panels help create a more diverse ecosystem in the sea.
It grows fast
Ocean Sun started in 2016, and already has subsidiaries in both Singapore and Shanghai.
Now they will work with the Chinese energy giant State Energy Investment Corporation (SPIC).
For Ocean Sun, cooperation with SPIC is a major milestone.
It is a great honor to be awarded contracts with SPIC. But this is also very exciting because the potential is so great. There are thousands of such windmills in this area of Shandong alone, he points out.
Bjørneklett says they have no qualms about working in China, whether about the country’s technology race with the West or human rights abuses.
– We don’t think of it that way. China is the largest country in the field of solar energy, with a very large production capacity of solar panels. We see this collaboration as important to the ability to deploy our technology. Bjørneklett says: We only have positive experiences in technology cooperation with Chinese companies.
“Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst.”