€6m for trials of solar panels on water

Summary

The government has set aside the funding for a number of test projects that would see solar panels installed on unused bodies of water

More efficient than rooftop panels

The government of Flanders is allocating €6 million for trials of solar panels on small areas of inland water such as lakes and ponds that have no other function.

Energy and budget minister Bart Tommelein (Open Vld) confirmed the investment to VTM. He says panels placed on water can be much more efficient than those on roofs: they can be turned to follow the sun and capture the light that is reflected by the water, for example. However, they are more expensive to place.

Tommelein emphasised that panels would not be placed on recreational lakes or on water in nature reserves. The aim of the €6 million is to set up a number of trial projects and the money comes from the €100 million that the government has found for investment.

The federal government is also considering placing solar panels on water. Philip De Backer (Open Vld), the state secretary for the North Sea, is investigating the feasibility of creating “sun islands” in the sea, a project that would potentially involve a number of private-sector partners.

Photo: Ingimage