World's Largest Man-Made Dam Weighs Making Use Of Floating Solar Panels

Mar 27, 2023 11:24 AM ET
  • The authorities accountable of the globe's biggest man-made lake are considering making use of floating photovoltaic panels to generate power after plummeting water levels strengthened power outages in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
World's Largest Man-Made Dam Weighs Making Use Of Floating Solar Panels
Image: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

Including solar capacity to the surface of the Kariba Dam would supplement the more than 2,100 megawatts of hydropower capacity, Munyaradzi Munodawafa, president of the Zambezi River Authority, which takes care of the dam, said in an interview. A similar proposal is being taken into consideration for the nearby Batoka Gorge, where one more hydro project is being established, he said.

" There are great deals of locations that can offer that solar," Munodawafa claimed.

Interest in floating solar panels has actually increased over the last few years, according to the International Energy Firm. The setups prevent competing for land, increase yields because of the cooling effect of water, and have the possible to reduce the dissipation of water bodies. Large-scale projects have been planned for storage tanks in India and Singapore.

A prolonged dry spell has cut output at Kariba as well as caused Zambia and also Zimbabwe's state power energies being not able to meet electricity demand. Overuse of the dam compounded the trouble at the start of the year, when storage tank levels fell to less than 1% of functional storage. While inflows have actually been getting given that January, the station is also susceptible to the effects of climate modification.

Rainfall patterns have actually become a problem, confirmed by the lack of inflows to the dam from the Gwayi River in Zimbabwe, Munodawafa claimed.

" Today everybody sees a lot of rainfall, but on the ground the reduced catchment that was supposed to provide us more water did not," he said. "That's climate modification."

The Zambian as well as Zimbabwean utilities have yet to choose on using the floating photovoltaic panels and also determine just how much such a project would certainly cost, Munodawafa said.

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