Two companies in Japan will begin building two huge new solar power islands that will float on reservoirs, following the inception of the Kagoshima floating solar plant as the country’s largest, which opened in late 2013 just off the country’s southern coast.
The new direction comes as Japan looks to move on from the Fukushima atomic disaster of 2011 and meet the energy needs of its 127 million people without relying on nuclear power. Before the incident, about 30 percent of the country’s power was generated by nuclear plants, but Fukushima destroyed public confidence, and with earthquakes highly likely in regions containing reactors, Japan is looking for alternatives.
Solar islands could also be a solution for other countries where space or nuclear concerns are an issue. It’s possible that one day a significant portion of Europe’s power could come from use of the technology; experts believe the engineering challenges can be surmounted.