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Here's how floating solar farms impact aquatic life

Floating solar farms, a novel approach to harnessing solar energy, have gained significant traction as a sustainable energy solution. While their advantages are well-established, the ecological impacts remain largely unexplored.

To address this knowledge gap, a team of researchers from Cornell University has embarked on a comprehensive study to investigate the interactions between floating solar farms and their aquatic environments.

The ecological implications

The Cornell team has deployed a floating solar array comprising nearly 400 panels across three ponds. Over the course of several years, they will meticulously monitor the intricate interplay between the solar farm and its surroundings, aiming to identify and understand any potential negative consequences. A primary concern is whether the panels' presence might deprive aquatic organisms of essential oxygen.

Potential of floating solar farms

According to a recent study, 6,000 cities worldwide could meet their energy demand using floating solar alone. This would also save a significant amount of water, equivalent to filling 40 million Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Additionally, installing floating solar farms on US federal reservoirs could save 2 million hectares of land and meet 10% of the country's electricity needs.

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Topics:
Future of the EnvironmentNature and BiodiversityEnergy Transition
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