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In 2014, the global market of floating solar panels valued at $3.89 million, and is projected to witness a growth rate at a CAGR of 116.1%, during the forecast period. This significant growth rate is attributed to its eco-friendly nature of these panels followed by the ever-increase in demand for green or renewal energy-based electricity generation across the globe.
Basically, solar panels install upon free land or roof tops. But these solar panel systems have a severe drawback of occupying a large amount of land. Several countries across the globe have not enough amount of free land, to install solar panel systems on a large-scale basis. This problem was majorly addressed with the advantages of floating solar panel technology. In addition, this technology uses water surface to facilitate solar panels. And further these floating panels can be installed upon ponds, lakes, reservoirs, rivers and sea.
On the basis of location, the global market of floating solar panels can be categorized into on-shore and off-shore. Wherein, based on the product type, the global market bifurcates into stationary and solar-tracking. Stationary category held the largest market share in terms of both volume and value, in 2014. Further, on the basis of geography, Asia-Pacific (APAC) is accounted a largest market value for floating solar panels, due to large investments made by several panel manufacturers and increase in the government. For instance, Kyocera TCL Solar LLC, a joint venture (JV) of Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation and Kyocera Corporation accomplished the construction of two floating mega-solar power plants at Higashihira Pond and Nishihira Pond in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, in April 2015. The plants are anticipated to produce 3,300 MWh of electricity per year.
The driving factors in the floating solar panels market have strict environmental regulations and increase in government initiatives, no need of acquiring large amount of land areas, and increase in efficiency of electricity generation. The continuous reduction in fossil fuel reserves and global warming have shifted the global consumption of energy sources from conventional to green. Several countries across the globe have already started various programs and projects to promote the generation of renewable energy. With the advantages of floating solar technology, several countries, such as Japan, the U.S., the U.K., France, Australia, India, and Brazil have started developing floating solar power plants. Several of these countries are offering tax benefits and direct capital subsidies to the manufacturers of floating solar panels.
Insufficient service providers and scarcity of land is creating growth opportunities in the floating solar panels market. In contrast to its opportunities, huge installation and maintenance cost are the key challenges in the floating solar panels market.
The major market players in the global floating solar panels market are Novaton AG, Ciel & Terre International, Infratech Industries Inc., SPI Solar, KYOCERA Corporation, Trina Solar Limited, Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited, DNV GL AS, Pristine Sun, and Sharp Corporation.
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