While solar PV technology costs are decreasing, the evolution towards high-wave offshore applications is considered the next step after fresh water floating PV on lakes and dams and low-wave offshore applications in lagoons and other sheltered environments.

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The consortium, led by Tractebel, was established under the Flemish Blue Cluster and is supported by VLAIO. For this initiative, the budget of about € 2 Mio is a result of joined forces between industry and government support. The consortium aims to develop new concepts and perform laboratory and field testing to take the first steps towards the commercialization of the technology.

The consortium's ambition is to be the first to achieve offshore solar farms in the Belgian North Sea, eventually in combination with windfarms or aquaculture.

Philippe Hutse, Offshore Director at Jan De Nul Group, commented:

We are proud to be part of this research programme and pioneering solution. Jan De Nul strongly believes in offshore renewables and is keen to explore alternative solutions such as Floating Solar PV as part of the future offshore energy mix. Therefore we wish to join forces with industry and government to accelerate this sustainable solution

Moreover, Luc Vandenbulcke, CEO of DEME, added that high wave offshore solar technology can play a key role in realising a sustainable energy transition.