- Floating solar panel based plant or farm is an arrangement of photovoltaic solar panels on a structure that floats on a water body, which is generally a lake or reservoir. Solar panels used in the construction of floating solar farms are known as floating solar panels.
- It is a new method of utilizing water surface available on dams, reservoirs, and other water bodies for the generation of solar energy
- The impetus to develop floating solar panels/plants over land-based plants is leading to an increase in prices of undeveloped land with solar potential
- According to the IEA, a minimum 80 GW of solar capacity was installed worldwide in 2018, a rise of about 48% compared to that in 2019. Companies are constantly conducting research and development activities to increase the overall efficiency of solar panels and systems.
- Floating solar panels/plants help conserve water through reduction of evaporation, and increase power generation due to the cooling effect of solar panels
Advantages of Floating Solar Panels over Land-based Solar System to Drive Market
- Floating solar panels eliminate the requirement of expensive land areas, especially farmlands, which are near any substation, for harvesting solar power
- This significantly lowers the price of solar power generation and also frees the land for other purposes
- The requirement of land for solar installation has driven the prices of even arid wastelands to more than 10 to 20 times in most of the countries
- These high prices of land reflect in the total cost of generation of solar power. However, floating solar panels are installed on water surfaces; hence, they require surface of water bodies that are not used for any other purposes.
- Installation of floating solar panels does not involve civil work or any removal of plantation as required in land-based solar installations
- Floating solar panel/plants generally generate more electricity than ground-mounted and rooftop systems due to the cooling effect of the water
- The overall maintenance of the plant is low compared to land-based system. This results in significant saving of operational costs in the long run.
- Increase in awareness about floating solar panels and solar power generation is projected to drive the floating solar panels market during the forecast period
- Rise in investments in the renewable energy sector is also expected to boost the market
- Thus, growth in land issues and availability of water bodies is projected to augment the floating solar market in the near future
High Installation Cost of Floating Solar Panels/plants to Restrain Market
- Installation of a floating solar panels/system requires special floaters that are anchored at the bottom of the reservoir to prevent the movement of the panels due to the wind
- The tracking technology is in the nascent stage. The overall cost of technology is higher than the stationary type, which affects the project cost.
- High installation cost associated with the floating solar panel/system is a major restraint of the global floating solar panels market
- High investment cost also jeopardizes the profitability of the system and raises issues about project investment
- Companies such as Ciel & Terre provide the option of financing the projects for their customers. They also offer the entire package of project development services to clients along with EPC and operation & maintenance services.
- Governments of various countries such as Brazil, India, and Singapore have evinced interest in this technology. These countries provide financial incentives to the owners of floating solar panel projects.
High Demand for Renewable Energy Source to Create Opportunities
- Demand for renewable energy has been increasing due to the depletion of natural resources such as crude oil, coal, and natural gas; and adverse effects of fossil resources on the environment.
- Solar energy is considered to be renewable source of energy due to the abundant availability of solar power
- Floating solar panels carry various advantages over their land-based counterparts. This is anticipated to boost the demand for floating solar panels, especially in countries and regions with large number of water bodies.
- Availability of trained manpower and government policies are boosting the confidence of investors. Countries facing power crisis are moving toward renewables to meet the shortage of power.
- Floating solar panels provide a highly viable solution over land-based solar power plants
- Companies are constantly conducting research and development activities to increase the overall efficiency of solar panels and systems. A major breakthrough could be tracking floating solar systems.
- A solar tracker traces the movement of the sun and orients the panel by moving it in one or two axis in order to increase the time of exposure of panels to the sunlight. It also helps improve the overall efficiency of the system.
- Recent innovations in floating solar panels and rise in demand for sources of renewable energy are anticipated to boost the market in the near future
Asia Pacific Dominated the Floating Solar Panels Market in 2018
- Based on region, the global floating solar panels market has been divided into Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World.
- Asia Pacific dominated the global market with more than 90% share in 2018, as the region is investing significantly in sources of renewable energy. However, the floating solar panels market in Rest of the World is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period.
- China and Japan constituted more than 80% share of the Asia Pacific floating solar panels market in 2018
- According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, the total installed solar energy capacity was around 274,866 MW in Asia Pacific in 2018. China consists of the highest installed base of renewable energy i.e. 695,865 MW
- The Asia Pacific floating solar panels market is anticipated to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period
Few Large Players Dominate Global Floating Solar Panels Market
- The floating solar panels market is highly dominated by a few large-scale companies operating around the world
- The top three players Yingli Solar, Kyocera Corporation and Sharp Corporation cumulatively accounted for a market share of around 35% in 2018
- Other players operating in the global floating solar market include: Trina Solar Limited, JA Solar Co., Ltd., SPG Solar, Inc., Ciel & Terre International, NOVATON AG, and Solaris Synergy
Introduction to Floating Solar Panels Market
Floating solar plant or farm is an arrangement of photovoltaic solar panels on a structure that floats on a water body, which is generally a lake or reservoir.
Solar panels used in the construction of floating solar farms are known as floating solar panels. Floating solar is a new, cost-effective, and reliable renewable solution for utilizing idle water surfaces of reservoirs or lakes to produce renewable solar power.
Floating solar power plant systems typically generate more electricity than ground-mount and rooftop systems due to the cooling effect of the water.
Floating Solar Panels Market Dynamics
The report comprises detailed value chain analysis, which provides a comprehensive view of the global floating solar panels market. The Porter’s Five Forces model for the floating solar panels market has also been included to help understand the completive landscape of the market. The study encompasses market attractiveness analysis, wherein type and capacity segments have been benchmarked based on their market size, growth rate, and general attractiveness.
Floating Solar Panels Market - Segmentation (Type, Capacity, Region, and Country)
The study provides a decisive view of the global floating solar panels market by segmenting it in terms of type, capacity, and region. These segments have been analyzed based on the present and future trends. Regional segmentation includes the current and forecast demand for floating solar panels in Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World.
Based on type, the floating solar panels market has been classified into stationary floating solar panels and solar-tracking floating solar panels. Stationary floating solar PV systems are installed on the water surface. PV panels float on a structure that floats on a water body.
The entire system contains a series of solar panels, aluminum frames, cables, and invertors. Solar-tracking floating solar system consists of machinery, a tracking system, and panels. The panels are supported on pivoting platforms and wheels powered by a motorized drive to move the frames and platforms along circular channels.
Solar panel-tracking solutions is an advanced technology for mounting photovoltaic panels. In terms of capacity, the global floating solar panels market has been divided into up to 1MW, 1MW - 5MW, and above 5MW.
Based on region, the global floating solar panels market has been segregated into the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of World. Asia Pacific dominated the global floating solar panels market in 2018. It was followed by Europe and the Americas.
The floating solar panels market in Rest of World is estimated to expand at a fast pace during the forecast period.
Demand for floating solar panels in Asia Pacific is rising at a significant pace due to the growth in investment in sources of renewable energy in the region.
The report analyzes and forecasts the floating solar panels market at global, regional, and country levels. The market has been forecasted in terms of value (US$ Mn) and volume (KW) for the period from 2019 to 2027. The study includes drivers and restraints of the global floating solar panels market. It covers the anticipated impact of these drivers and restraints on the demand for floating solar panels during the forecast period.
The report highlights opportunities for the floating solar panels market at global and regional levels. In-depth interviews and discussions were conducted with several key market participants and opinion leaders to compile the research report. Primary research represents a bulk of research efforts, supplemented by extensive secondary research. Annual reports, press releases, and relevant documents of key players operating in various application areas have been reviewed for competition analysis and market understanding.
Secondary research also includes recent trends, technical writing, Internet sources, and statistical data from government websites, trade associations, and agencies. These have proved to be reliable, effective, and successful approaches for obtaining precise market data, capturing market participants’ insights, and recognizing business opportunities.
Floating Solar Panels Market-Competition Landscape
The study includes profiles of major companies operating in the global floating solar panels market. Key players profiled in the report include
- Sharp Corporation
- Trina Solar Limited
- KYOCERA Corporation
- JA Solar Co. Ltd.
- Yingli Solar
- SPG Solar, Inc.
- Ciel & Terre International
- NOVATON AG
- Solaris Synergy
Awareness about solar power and subsidies on installation of solar power are likely to drive the market. Market leaders are adopting measures such as strategic pricing and product improvement to increase their market share.
Global Floating Solar Panels Market, by Type
- Stationary Floating Solar Panels
- Solar-Tracking Floating Solar Panels
Global Floating Solar Panels Market, by Capacity
- Up to 1MW
- 1MW - 5MW
- Above 5MW
Global Floating Solar Panels Market, by Region
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Rest of Americas
- Rest of Europe
- Rest of the World
- Extensive analysis of market trends from 2018 to 2027 to identify growth opportunities and market developments
- Comparative analysis of various applications, wherein floating solar panels are utilized
- Identification of key factors useful to build a roadmap of growth opportunities for the floating solar panels market at global, regional, and country levels
- Comprehensive analysis with respect to investments and regulatory scenario that would subsequently impact the outlook and forecast for the global floating solar panels market between 2019 and 2027
- Detailed competitive landscape of key players operating in the market to help understand the competition level
- Detailed pricing analysis from 2018 to 2027
- Porter’s Five Forces analysis that highlights the power of buyers and suppliers