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  • Writer's pictureTiana Starks

Floating Solar Panel Industry Makes a Splash

Updated: Jul 13, 2020

Floating solar panel technology has been gaining traction as a favorable and cost-effective alternative to land-based photovoltaic systems. Thriving on the cusp of a massive inclination toward renewable energy adoption, the floating solar panel market stands as one of the highest-potential verticals in the go-green landscape.

The rather stringent regulatory framework advocating mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in tandem with rigorous initiatives for clean power generation have made the photovoltaic (PV) solar panel sector a lucrative investment spot for renewable industry players. The worldwide investment in renewables capacity increased from more than 127 GW in 2015 to a record high of 138 GW in 2016. For the record, hydropower constitutes 53% of the global renewable energy, while wind and solar power account for 24% and 18%, respectively. Though in third place, solar energy has been touted as the fastest-growing source of new energy globally by the International Energy Agency.

In 2016, for the first time ever, more solar capacity (about 75 GW) was reportedly added than any other renewable energy source, including wind, biomass and waste, hydro, and geothermal. A key reason for the increased rate of installations is the sharp decline in installation costs of solar PV and floating panels, which are transforming energy management and land utilization. Moreover, floating solar panel technology has been gaining traction as one of the favorable and cost-effective alternatives to land-based PV systems.

As more and more countries gradually recognize the effective utilization of waterbodies over land space, the floating solar panel market is expected to gain a further edge across myriad geographies. Enumerated in this article are some of the crucial recent developments, along with a review of the regional landscape for the floating solar panel industry.

Asia Pacific Leads the Floating Solar Panel Market According to a report compiled by the International Renewable Energy Agency, Asia accounted for more than two-thirds of the worldwide increase in renewable energy generating capacity in 2017. The growing adoption of clean electricity generation and unavailability of land have been identified as the most-prominent factors impelling the implementation of floating solar panel technology in the region.

With anticipation of economic progression in Asian economies, the region is projected to witness tremendous renewable energy demand in the ensuing timeframe. Furthermore, the commitment of both private and government entities toward developing sustainable infrastructure will have a perpetual impact on the regional trends. For Asia as a whole, renewable energy capacity has almost doubled over the last five years, accounting for 918 GW in 2017. China, Japan, and India were among the top-most contributors to this increase.

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