BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 30. The compound annual growth of the global demand for floating solar installations is expected at 15 percent over the next 10 years, with cumulative global installations to exceed 58 gigawatts direct current (GWdc), Wood Mackenzie, a global research and consultancy group, forecasts, Trend reports via WoodMac.
According to the report, today, floating solar accounts for only 2 percent of the overall global solar demand, however, in 2022, the total market is expected to grow by 150 percent year-on-year - to 4 GWdc.
“The confluence of land scarcity increased land costs, new market entrants and growing market maturity will all contribute to the growth of the floating solar market. Offshore and near-shore floating PV developments are also gaining traction where in-land water bodies, or their use for solar, is limited,” the report said.
As the report noted, floating solar could also be combined with hydropower technology, resulting in managing peak demand and smoothing overall electricity production.
“Co-location with existing offshore wind projects can also help with cost amortization as floating solar can take advantage of existing transmission infrastructure. The segment continues to evolve with disruptive solutions on all fronts of the component stack to make floating solar more adaptable and robust for water-based applications. We’re seeing new market entrants and stakeholders develop innovative technologies to design such floating systems – examples include dual glass modules, wave-dampening floats and flexible mooring solutions,” WoodMac said.
Meanwhile, the Asia-Pacific region continues to dominate the floating solar market with 3 GWdc - 93 percent of the overall globally installed capacity. Currently, China is leading the market, however, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand are expected to bolster their capacity as well over the next two years.
In Europe, the Netherlands and France account for 85 percent of the installed floating solar capacity in the region, with Spain and Portugal expected to join the market.
“Despite abundant land availability, the US is also exploring floating solar projects and is expected to have about 10 percent year-on-year growth in installations in 2022. Even though the cost of floating PV development is about 20-40 percent higher than ground-mount solar, the elimination of land lease costs in urban areas, where there is demand for solar, can be a big driver,” WoodMac added.
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