The global floating solar panels market is projected to generate $40,662 million revenue by 2030, advancing at a CAGR of 40.2% during 2022–2030. This will be due to the increasing count of government initiatives and stringent environmental regulations and the fact that floating solar panels eliminate the need to acquire large tracts of land for the setup of commercial-scale PV plants.
Floating solar techniques generate solar power by using uninhabited bodies of water, such as lakes and artificial basins. Proponents of the technology claim that it has the potential to dramatically increase the usage of renewable energy, particularly in countries with huge populations and limited spare land, such as many Asian countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted businesses across the globe, particularly in countries such as the U.S., Brazil, Russia, India, Italy, and Spain. With the shutting down of commercial and industrial establishments in order to curtail the spread of the disease, there was a temporary halt in the production of solar panels during the first quarter of 2020.
However, with the lifting of the lockdowns and restoration of economic normalcy, many projects that could not be completed in 2020 regained pace and were completed by late 2021. For instance, in June 2020, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) Ramagundam started construction work on India’s largest floating solar power plant, of 100-MW capacity, covering an area of 450 acres. Therefore, with such operations regaining pace, the global market showcased fast recovery during late 2020–2021.
Floating PV held the larger share, of 93%, in 2022. The land can be used for other purposes because the floating PV energy systems are installed on water. Such facilities do not need to be built on land, which is often acquired after clearing farms and forests. Additionally, the natural cooling effect of water, which lowers the temperature, increases in the solar modules and leads to augmented energy production. It also slows the evaporation of water from the reservoir, since the floating PV system blocks the sunlight.
Moreover, onshore panels held the larger share in 2022 in the global floating solar panels market. With the continuous growth in population, the need for power is also rising, but land for conventional power plants (fossil-based or solar) is not easily available. So, onshore floating power plants are employed as an alternative to conventional power plants. The former have a considerably greater power production potential than the conventional ones because they can be moved to any location. These floating power plants can produce power at peak loads and are cost-effective in the long term. They can be employed in times of need, such as during severe weather events, including earthquakes and flooding, to ensure security.
Moreover, Europe held a significant revenue share in the market owing to the high production volume of floating solar panels. The top 30 European solar power plants have a combined capacity of 16.1 MW. The largest and smallest plants on the list, with a capacity of 6,338 MW and 26,00 kW, respectively, greatly differ from one another. The U.K. has the most projects and more than 65% of the capacity. The Netherlands accounts for the second-highest floating PV capacity, with seven plants.
The major players operating in the global floating solar panels market are Ciel Et Terre International, JA Solar Technology Co. Ltd., JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd., Kyocera Corporation, Ocean Sun AS, Quant Solar, Sharp Corporation, Sungrow Power Supply Co. Ltd., Swimsol GmbH, and Tata Power Solar System Ltd.