Suriname is set to build a floating solar farm on the ocean around its coastline, as the Caribbean’s third-biggest oil producer looks to harness renewable energy resources.
The solar program is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Local reports suggest that the bank has even agreed to provide technical assistance.
The Dutch-speaking country is currently heavily reliant on the Afobaka Hydropower Plant, which generates nearly 50% of electricity consumed.
The solar project will also help the country ease the task of managing water resources, say analysts. That is because the reservoir often runs low on water as electricity demand peaks in the country.
In recent years, Suriname is increasingly using fossil fuels to generate electricity. More than 110 villages have their own diesel-fueled electricity generators, with a capacity range of 15-149kW, according to energypedia.info.
Placing massive solar panels on bodies of water is the ideal way to harness solar energy in countries where land is scarce. Nearly 80% of Suriname’s area is covered with tropical rain forests, with only 1.5 million hectares considered suitable for agriculture.