The Dutch company Oceans of Energy has developed a unique and innovative technology: offshore solar panels, which can be installed on the open sea and are able to withstand high waves and the saline aggressiveness of sea water. The new systems are innovative because they are not limited by the depth of the sea and can withstand rough sea conditions with maximum wave heights of up to 13 metres. Oceans of Energy has been working on designing and improving these photovoltaic systems since 2019 and, after testing this new technology 12 km off the Dutch coast, is ready to install and operate 0.5 MW of solar panels at sea within the Hollandse Kust Noord offshore wind farm. The project is a mix of renewables. In fact, it includes the installation of a 759 MW wind farm 18.5 km from the coast, which will be flanked by Oceans of Energy's floating photovoltaic plant, an electrolyser for on-site production of hydrogen, adaptation systems to minimise the negative effect of 'wake', and storage facilities.
The technology developed by Oceans of Energy greatly increases the possibility of installing photovoltaic systems, making renewables truly competitive with fossil fuels. We know, in fact, that even if all buildings and roads were covered with solar panels, this would not generate enough energy to meet our energy needs. The planet's oceans and seas offer plenty of space. With only a fraction of that space covered by solar panels, it is possible to generate a great deal of energy, even more than necessary. Offshore solar power could therefore be a turning point in the energy transition process.