Floating solar surpasses 1GW globally - World Bank

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Credit: SERIS

Global floating solar installations had reached 1.1GW as of September this year, a huge rise from just 10MW at the end of 2014, according to the first report on floating PV from the World Bank and Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS).

The report ‘Where Sun Meets Water’ stated that floating solar has the potential to ultimately reach a total of 400GW. So far, China, India and Southeast Asia are leading the charge, with some individual installations going above 100MW in this region.

Credit: World Bank/SERIS

Covering just small areas of reservoirs created by hydropower plants with floating PV can significantly boost plant capacity and the two technologies are complementary, with hydros ability to smooth the variable solar output. The floating technology also allows solar to be located closer to urban centres with higher power demand. The report noted that this burgeoning technology has created opportunities to scale up solar globally particularly in areas with high population densities and high demand for land.

Floating solar does cost more up-front, but costs over time of floating solar are at par with traditional solar, because floating solar can produce higher energy yield due to the cooling effect of water. The solar systems also reduce evaporation on key water bodies. However, the technology currently suffers from not having a long-standing track record in practice, the threat of possible effects on water quality, anchoring and mooring challenges, and the relative complexity of maintaining some parts of the installations, particularly electrical components.

Riccardo Puliti, senior director for Energy and Extractives at the World Bank, saidL “Floating solar technology has huge advantages for countries where land is at a premium or where electricity grids are weak. Governments and investors are waking up to these advantages, and we are starting to see interest from a wide range of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“We fully expect demand to grow for this technology and for floating solar to become a larger part of countries’ plans for expanding renewable energy. It will be important to ensure that best practices are shared among countries and development minimizes any environmental impacts.”

The report is the first in a series of reports on floating solar from the World Bank and SERIS.

Credit: World Bank/SERIS

The report stated: “Currently most large-scale floating PV plants are deployed using pontoon-type floats, with PV panels mounted at a fixed tilt angle. Typically, the floating structure can be made of so-called pure floats or floats that are combined with metal trusses.”

Read Next

May 11, 2022
Energy advisory and assurance provider DNV has introduced two joint industry projects (JIPs) aimed to standardise the development of floating PV (FPV).
April 22, 2022
Dutch energy company Essent and solar developer Solinoor will collaborate on the development of green hydrogen projects in the Netherlands using ground-based and floating solar PV.
PV Tech Premium
April 22, 2022
Portugal's latest solar auction made headlines earlier this month as record-low negative bids were posted, with the results illustrating the value developers place on securing a grid connection and the strong potential they see in hybridising renewables assets.
April 19, 2022
UAE-owned renewable energy company Masdar has agreed signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Energy to explore the development of renewable energy opportunities in the Central Asian nation.
April 4, 2022
Portugal will aim to increase the share of renewables in electricity production to 80% by 2026, four years earlier than previously planned, its new government announced ahead of the country’s latest solar auction.
April 1, 2022
Spain has sought to regulate the installation of floating solar PV on reservoirs in the country, issuing a list of requirements based largely on water quality.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
June 14, 2022
Napa, USA
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA