I was amazed when I read this piece in the New York Times of last week; it seems that floating solar panels is becoming all the rage now. It seems that there are several reasons for this. One certainly is that it is not an eyesore like solar panels. These panels are simply put over a body of water and float there, generating electricity in the process.
Furthermore, as land is more scarce and costs more, it is cheaper to do this on water. As well, there are less regulations tied to that industry. These panels could be easily put on a reservoir, exactly as what is done in Japan presently.
Another advantage of these floating solar panels is that they slow down evaporation as well as being more efficient as the water cools down the solar panels. They can also face stiffer winds than the land-based arrays.
But by far the main problem the development of this new way of using solar panels is convincing governments and water agencies that this floating technology will serve their interests as well as commercial interests.
I for one would see less problems in these floating solar panels than the upright variety. To have clean energy and preserve the landscape from rows upon rows of solar panels is a great idea whose time has come.