India’s Reservoirs Can Generate 280 GW Power via Floating Solar: TERI

India’s Reservoirs Can Generate 280 GW Power via Floating Solar: TERI

India’s reservoirs have 18,000 sq. km of area with the potential to generate 280 GW of solar power through floating solar photovoltaics (FSPVs) plants, according to a new study by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), an energy and environment think tank.

floating Solar PV plant

TERI’s new report titled ‘Floating Solar Photovoltaic (FSPV): A Third Pillar to Solar PV Sector?’ was released during the recently held World Sustainable Development Summit 2020.

The report calculated the potential for FSPVs, or ‘floatovoltaics’, on the basis of 30 percent of water surface area of the country’s medium and large reservoirs.

The findings of the report stated that, Maharashtra has the largest potential and can generate upto 57,891 MW of electricity through solar PV installations on 3,173 sq. km. of water surface area in reservoirs.

Commenting on the report findings, Dr Ashvini Kumar, Senior Director, Renewable Energy Technologies at TERI, said “this report is an excellent initiative opening up alternatives for solar capacity additions. Preliminary data analysis indicates a huge potential of 280 GW with a certain coverage of water surface area. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are the top three states in terms of potential for installations of FSPV.”

At present, ground-based installations form 93.1 percent of the country’s grid-connected solar PV sector. The installation cost of utility-scale solar PV in the country has reduced by 84 percent between 2010 and 2018, making India the country with the lowest installation cost for utility scale solar PVs.

However, solar PV deployment is quite land intensive and scaling up projects require large chunks of contiguous land parcels, which has its own set of challenges. In order to keep the pace of development commensurate with India’s national targets for solar capacity additions, alternatives such as floating solar need to be explored and established.

It is estimated that the global annual capacity addition from floating solar may rise from the 1.314 GWp in 2018 to 4.6 GWp by 2022.

Currently, China is the leading international market followed by Japan and South Korea for floating solar, the study mentioned.

It further added that, India also has very bright prospects to develop FSPV projects due to availability of large water bodies in the country.

“Floating Solar PV could be a potential option for accelerating solar power deployment in the country, which would ultimately help in achieving NDC goals. It is time to look for bringing a conducive policy framework to encourage tapping this potential,” said Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General of TERI.

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Manu Tayal

Manu is an Associate Editor at Saur Energy International where she writes and edits clean & green energy news, featured articles and interview industry veterans with a special focus on solar, wind and financial segments.