New study shows India has 207 GW of floating solar potential


From pv magazine India

A new report prepared under the Indo-German Technical Cooperation on Innovative Solar (IN Solar) shows that inland bodies of water in India have the technical potential to host 206.7 GWp of floating solar capacity.

The team used GIS-based data for all bodies of water in India (calculated in square kilometers) by referencing the Copernicus Programme by the European Commission.

The data set was filtered to include bodies of water with a usable area greater than 0.015 sq km, with 12 months of water availability, while excluding bodies of water in protected zones. An area of 0.015 sq km is required to install 1 MW of floating PV.

The state of Madhya Pradesh has the maximum potential of 40,117 MWp, followed by Maharashtra with 32,076 MWp.

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The project has been launched under the guidance of the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and is funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ). Ernst and Young LLP (EY LLP) has led the project, along with CSTEP and Fraunhofer ISE as partners.

Under a moderate scenario, the report said India could install 30 GW of cumulative floating solar capacity from 2024 to 2040. They assumed 1 MW of floating PV would require capital expenditures equalling a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of INR 4.32 ($0.052)/kWh.

The research team assumed an annual reduction of 2.5% in capex, resulting in a gradual decline of the LCOE from floating PV plants, starting from 2024 and extending through 2040. The LCOE is expected to drop to INR 3.72/kWh by 2030 and INR 2.90/kWh by 2040.

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