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    Belgian collective wants to launch solar panels in the ocean

    A new Belgian collective aims to be the first to launch solar panels in the ocean. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    A new collective wants to become the first in Belgium to launch floating solar panels in the ocean.

    Ghent University, energy firm Tractebel, the Jan De Nul group, which handles maritime infrastructure, marine engineering company Deme, and Soltech, a solar energy equipment supplier, have joined forces to develop solar energy panels that can be installed in the ocean.

    The group cited the decreasing costs of solar energy, the shortage of land available to install panels, and the refusal of citizens to have infrastructure near their homes as the reasons to take solar energy to the seas.

    Using these panels in the ocean means they must be adapted to resist salt water, currents, and waves and still be reasonably priced. The collective has a budget of 2 million euros supplied by both the companies and public funds.

    The group intends to be the first in Belgium to explore offshore solar technology. It also intends to be the first to build solar panel parks in the Belgian North Sea.

    Sam Nelson
    The Brussels Times