Indian Water Bodies Can Generate 280 GW Power through Floating Solar PV, Study Reveals

India has been striving and thriving to generate power through renewable energy resources for quite some time now. The country has a target to reach a renewable energy capacity of 175 GW by 2022, out of which 100 GW will be solar energy. Most of the solar energy is generated through rooftop or ground-based installations. Currently, the ground-based installations form 93.1 percent of India’s grid-connected solar PV sector.

A new report reveals that the surface area of India’s reservoirs can generate solar power nearly three times more than the set target through floating solar PV plants.

According to this recent report, India has reservoirs with a cumulative surface area of 18,000 square kilometers with the potential to generate 280 GW of solar energy through floating solar photovoltaic.

The potential for floating solar PV in India was calculated on the basis of 30 percent of the water surface area of the country’s medium and large reservoirs.

Indian Water Bodies Can Generate 280 GW Power through Floating Solar Photovoltaic, Study Reveals

The report on potential of energy generation through floating solar PV in India was released during the World Sustainable Development Summit 2020 / Image: TERI

The report, called “Floating Solar Photovoltaic (FSPV): A Third Pillar to Solar PV Sector?” was produced by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) as part of Energy Transmission Commission (ETC) India.

ETC India is a research platform based in TERI, New Delhi, it is the Indian version of the global Energy Transitions Commission.

The report was released during the recently held World Sustainable Development Summit 2020. Its findings have the potential to help in planning out strategies for achieving an overall capacity of solar energy in India.

State-wise details have been provided of floating solar potential in the form of a web-based interactive tool called India Floating Solar PV-Tool, which was developed under this study. Maharashtra has the highest floating solar potential and can generate 57,891 MW of electricity on 3,173 sq km of the water surface in reservoirs.

Between 2010 and 2018, the installation cost of utility-scale solar PV has decreased by 84 percent, making India the country with the lowest installation cost for the same.

The report estimates that global annual capacity addition from floating solar may rise to 4.6 GW by 2022 from 1.314 GW in 2018. Currently, China is leading the international market followed by Japan and South Korea for floating solar.

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