Floating solar market to surpass 6GW a year by 2031, with concentration in APAC – Woodmac

Floating solar in Kerala, India. Image: Tata Power

The global floating solar (FPV) market will surpass 6GW by 2031, with China, India and Southeast Asia set to deploy the lion’s share.

A new report from energy analyst Wood Mackenzie forecasts that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of FPV will increase by 15% in the next ten years, with 15 countries and regions set to surpass 500MW of installed capacity. China, India and Indonesia will make up almost 70% of the world’s FPV capacity.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

By 2031, China will have cumulatively installed over 13GW of FPV, with India and Indonesia over 10GW and 8GW respectively. The price of FPV – though currently higher than traditional ground-mounted systems by between 20-50% – is falling as demand increases and technology develops. PV Tech Premium published a discussion of the technological developments in the sector in February.

Ting Yu, consultant at Wood Mackenzie, spoke at SNEC PV Power Expo in Shanghai this week: “The global solar industry, including PV developers, continues to battle limited land availability and increasing land costs for ground-mount solar projects, which is driving demand for floating installations… increased competitiveness in the developer and EPC landscape is helping to drive down costs in the sector.”

A total of 15 countries and regions will surpass 500MW by 2031. Image: Wood Mackenzie

Behind the Asia-Pacific region, which had 3GW of FPV installed in 2022 (90% of additions that year), Europe is becoming the second-largest market for FPV in terms of demand. The Netherlands is leading the demand, given its relative lack of suitable land for utility-scale solar, followed by France. By 2031, Woodmac forecasts the two countries to have 1.4GW and 672MW installed respectively.

Offshore floating projects in the Dutch North Sea have been being realised of late, beginning to move past pilot projects into commercial size. Land is valuable in Europe, and many countries have, or are beginning to introduce dual land-use requirements for solar projects, which could be met by both agrivoltaic plants and floating installations.

“Although it is still a small market in Europe, the trend is positive, and bigger floating PV plants are expected in the near future. After 2025, slow growth is projected as the main spots would have already been developed at this point. In addition, grid constraints and higher LCOE for bigger plants means the technology is not competitive against rooftop PV,” Yu said.

A similar relationship between land cost and FPV demand is forecast for the US, with a projected 13% CAGR forecast there too. California, Florida and New Jersey were highlighted as regions which might see the highest FPV penetration over the next decade.

27 June 2024
9am BST
FREE WEBINAR -This special webinar will take a deep dive into the latest PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings pyramid, capturing the relative bankability status of the top 70-80 PV module suppliers globally. In addition to revealing the latest ranking of global PV module suppliers, PV Tech’s Head of Research, Finlay Colville, will show the depth of analysis and commentary included within the report for module suppliers. A key output from the webinar will be to learn which PV module suppliers have moved up the rankings pyramid in recent years and why this growth has been achieved. Conversely, some of the companies that have fallen down the rankings will be discussed, in particular those suffering from market-share losses and financial problems.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
26 November 2024
Málaga, Spain
Understanding PV module supply to the European market in 2025. PV ModuleTech Europe 2024 is a two-day conference that tackles these challenges directly, with an agenda that addresses all aspects of module supplier selection; product availability, technology offerings, traceability of supply-chain, factory auditing, module testing and reliability, and company bankability.
11 March 2025
Frankfurt, Germany
The conference will gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

Read Next

June 17, 2024
German quality assurance and testing centre TÜV Rheinlandwill present a traceability testing service for modules at Intersolar Europe 2024.
June 17, 2024
At SNEC 2024 last week, PV Tech spoke to John Zhang, deputy general manager of inverter manufacturer and smart energy provider Hypontech.
June 17, 2024
During SNEC 2024 event, PV Tech spoke with Hopewind's Sara Wang about its range of products at the event, and its latest rebranding efforts.
June 17, 2024
The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has taken control of a 500kV, 125-mile transmission line between California and Arizona.
June 17, 2024
German renewable energy developer Juwi has completed the construction of a 223MW solar PV project in the US state of Colorado.
June 17, 2024
The UK and the Ireland I-SEM are also top markets for renewables and battery energy storage systems (BESS) co-location in Europe.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece
Solar Media Events
July 9, 2024
Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia