Innovative solar projects around the world
Solar has become one of the most efficient sustainable, renewable resources within the construction of new buildings and projects. With news that the largest solar farm within east Africa is set to be built, we look at innovative solar projects which have produced numerous advantages to the regions in which they are situated.
The Sun Ship, Freiburg, Germany
Becoming the first commercial PlusEnergy building within Freiburg, the Sun Ship comprises sophisticated technologies and have incorporated insulated walls to ensure maximum heat and energy is retained.
The mixed use building shields the Solar Settlement from noise an includes a roof top garden amongst a supermarket, offices and penthouses.
Although the foundations are constructed with concrete, the rest of the building is fabricated with wood.
Druk White Lotus School, India
Situated within Ladakh, the Druk White Lotus School in India has been constructed in order to fathom the region’s turbulent weather conditions, but is also sustainable and energy efficient, with inbuilt solar pumps which help deliver water to the school and its inhabitants.
Designed by Arup Group, the school has won several architectural awards, and has been built from locally sourced materials, such as mud brick which acts an insulator, with a photovoltaic system inbuilt in order to lower the buildings carbon footprint.
Munzingen Solar Garden, Germany
Winning the European Solar Prize back in 1994, the Munzingen Solar Garden housing development incorporates maximum natural light within its design.
Similar to the Sun Ship, the builds have been fully insulated, in addition to incorporating a water collection system.
Sun dial building, China
Situated in the Shangdong Province in China, this sundial shaped structure is one of China’s largest solar projects.
The building provides approximately 30 percent energy savings and incorporates a hotel, exhibition and research facilities.
The Solar Settlement, Freiburg, Germany
Winning several awards from 2001 – 2008, the Solar Settlement in Germany is one of the most sustainable builds within the region.
The PlusEnergy settlement generates more energy than it consumes, with nearly 60 homes constructed from sustainable building materials, such as wood and photovoltaic roofs, incorporating natural light throughout the layout of homes on site. All the builds are emissions free, with a net zero carbon footprint.
Environmental Energy Innovation (EEI) Building, Tokyo
Finalised in 2012, the EEI building is one of the most sustainable buildings witin Tokyo, with over 4000 solar panels, reducing co2 emissions by over 60 percent.
Read the October 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
Masdar, PT PLN begin work on floating PV solar project
UAE-based renewable energy company Masdar, in partnership with PT PLN, an organisation specialising in electrical power and owned by the Indonesian government, has announced today it has started work on a floating photovoltaic (PV) solar project in West Java. The company says the 145MW plant is the first of its kind in the country. The project, which will be constructed on the Cirata reservoir in West Java, was financed by the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Societe Generale, and Standard Chartered Bank.
Developing the project is PT Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Masdar Solar Energi (PMSE), a joint venture between Masdar and PT PLN subsidiary PT PJBI. Bahlil Lahadalia, Minister of Investment for the Republic of Indonesia and chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, said: “This is a flagship project of the UAE’s investment in Indonesia, and most importantly, it is in line with the Indonesian Government’s target to increase renewable energy by 23% by 2025.”
Ladhadalia added: “The Ministry of Investment fully supports the investment realisation of the Cirata Floating Solar Project by PT PJBI and Masdar.” The plant is said to be the largest in south-east Asia, and one of the biggest in the world. Around 800 jobs will be created during its construction phase.
During the project’s development, Masdar has conducted several social initiatives to raise awareness of sustainability and strengthen the engagement of the local community. Talking about the partnership with Masdar, Amir Faisal, president director of PJBI, said: “We see tremendous potential for similar projects in Indonesia and we look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration with Masdar to work on more renewable energy projects and help our nation achieve its clean energy objectives.
“This floating power project is a first for Indonesia and is also a significant step in PJBI’s renewable energy journey,” he added.
Facts about solar energy
- Solar power is the most abundant energy source on earth: There’s enough solar energy reaching the earth every hour to meet all of humanity’s power needs for a whole year.
- The cost of solar panels has fallen by 99% since 1977: The price per watt for a single solar cell in 1977 was US$77. Today that same cell costs Us$0.21 per watt US$0.39 per watt for an assembled module, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
- China is the global leader in solar energy: Whilst solar power is increasing in popularity in the US, China is currently the country with the biggest uptake. Research conducted by GTM in 2017 predicted that the US would install 12.4GW of solar power during that year. China, on the other hand, installed 24.4GW of power in the first half of 2017 alone.