Singapore launches massive floating solar farm, plus crazy cool Turkish wind turbines. Climate launchpad incubator, and climate change artist Olafur Eliasson.
Singapore Launches Massive Floating Solar Farm, Crazy Cool Turkish Wind Turbines, Climate Launchpad Incubator, Climate Change Artist Olafur Eliasson
SINGAPORE LAUNCHES MASSIVE FLOATING SOLAR FARM
Just last week, the island nation of Singapore turned on its second massive floating solar farm on the Tengeh Reservoir.
Singapore is unique in the southeast Asia in that it is one of the biggest CO2 emitters in that region, despite its relatively small size. It’s also challenged by lack of land to use for alternative energy. So, it innovated, and installed floating solar panels.
(They don’t actually float, do they?)
Good question. And yes, yes they do. Although they’re tethered to the reservoir bed via mooring lines.
(What about harm to the environment and aquatic life?)
Another great question. According to Singapore’s National Water Agency, gaps between solar panels were incorporated to improve the airflow and allow sufficient sunlight to reach aquatic life. Moreover, aerators maintain oxygen levels in the water to reduce the impact on biodiversity and water quality of the reservoir.
And to ensure that water quality is not compromised, floats are high-density polyethylene (HDPE) – a certified food-grade material that is UV-resistant.
Singapore’s first floating solar farm launched in early 2021. It was built in the Johor Strait between Singapore and Malaysia. That installation features 13,000 panels and can produce up to 5MW of electrical energy—enough to power about 1,400 Singapore apartment units annually.
In contrast, the new Tengeh Reservoir floating solar farm installation has 122,000 solar panels—almost ten times the number of the Johor project—and is almost 112 acres in size! And whereas Johor’s 13k solar panels produce 5MW of energy, the Tengeh project can produce up to 60MW. That’s 12 times the power, or enough to light up almost 17,000 Singapore apartments.
This is all part of Singapore’s goal to quadruple solar energy capabilities by 2025.
Futzing around on the internet last night, I stumbled across a fantastic green idea generator/business incubator based out of the Netherlands. It’s called ClimateLaunchPad.
According to their website, it’s the world’s largest green business ideas competition. Its mission is to unlock the world’s clean tech potential in terms of combating climate change. The competition creates a stage for those ideas. ClimateLaunchpad is part of the Entrepreneurship offerings of EIT Climate-KIC, a European knowledge community working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy.
The idea behind ClimateLaunchPad is simple. Through its global business and government partnerships, it offers training, coaching, and support to cleantech innovators who are great inventors but not great marketers, public speakers or entrepreneurs.
ClimateLaunchPad was founded by Frans Nauta in 2014 with 11 participating countries. In 2021, that number has grown to over 50.
TURKEY’S CRAZY COOL URBAN WIND TURBINES
A wind turbine that generates power from passing traffic is the latest clean energy breakthrough to feature on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. The vertical device is called an ENLIL (Turkish for “Vertical Axis Wind Turbine”), and each one is able to harness air currents created by moving vehicles to produce energy
The apparatus is small enough to be placed next to moving vehicles without disruption and takes up minimal surface area no matter where it is. The breeze produced from passing vehicles through an ENLIL to produce one kilowatt of energy an hour. Mount a small solar panel atop the ENLIL and it will create enough electricity to power to Turkish homes per day!
Why does this matter to us? The ENLIL is designed with long, vertically mounted, unobtrusive, upright blades This allows for easy transportation and assembly in areas where traditional wind turbines may not otherwise be practical, such as city streets and buildings.
The idea was thought up by entrepreneur Kerem Deveci, who started working on the project while completing his civil engineering degree several years ago. His inspiration came from reading into one particular everyday occurrence that took place on public transport.
Deveci noticed during a journey on Istanbul’s Metrobus network that the vehicle he was travelling on was susceptible to wind influences – the covers of each emergency evacuation value wouldn’t stop flapping because of it.
You know how every bus has a roof-mounted escape hatch? Well the ones on the buses he was riding kept flapping. They wouldn’t stay closed. That inspired him to come up with his invention. Though ENLIL project was awarded the ‘ClimateLaunchpad Urban Transitions Award’, and won the Mercedes-Benz Turkish StartUP Competition before it had even exited its research and development phase.
You gotta check these bad boys out. Slide on over to our website at theclimate.org/episodes and click on the link at the bottom of the page.
CLIMATE CHANGE ARTIST OLAFUR ELIASSON
To celebrate Earth Day 2020, renowned conceptual artist Olafur Eliasson launched a new artwork that will guide us away from our narrow, human-centric view of our planet.
Titled Earth Perspectives, the participatory work re-envisions human constructs like maps, the globe, and space by including the perspectives of plants, animals, and other natural elements. The goal, said Eliasson, is to recognize the various perspectives and, together, celebrate their coexistence.
In a 2019 CNN article ‘Olafur Eliasson on what art can do to fight climate change’ he said, ‘Solutions to climate change require long-term decisions, long-term investment, long-term planning. We need to see accountability by politicians, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years into the future, long after the politician’s dead and gone. We get a lot of science … but it’s fair to say that it’s often very disembodied. I think we have a better ability to translate our critical enquiry into action once we have a physical relationship with the world. Bringing an experiential narrative to knowledge … gives you a certain empowerment.”
That interview was on the heels of Eliasson’s 2019 presentation at the UN Climate Action Summit. There he showcased his 2014 installation, “Ice Watch.” Eliasson, of Danish and Icelandic heritage used that opportunity to transport 12 massive blocks of melting, glacial ice to the Paris Climate Change Conference that year, as a way to translate all the data, news and scientific papers generated around climate change into visceral, tactile objects.
What’s cool is Eliasson is not just an artist. He cofounded Little Sun, with engineer Frederik Ottesen back in 2012 to replace fossil fuel-based lamps in communities that have no electricity with a clean alternative.