Scientists in the Netherlands are trialing a floating solar installation based on flexible thin-film PV modules. The idea behind their concept is that such modules, in combination with a newly designed flexible racking system, will create a system able to roll with the movement of the water, rather than attempting to defy it.
Over the past two years, German renewables business Baywa re has developed in-house floating solar technology and installed nearly 50 MW of projects in the Netherlands. Benoît Roux, director of solar activities at Baywa re in France, said the ramp-up in project size has enabled the company to achieve dramatic cost reductions.
Floating PV installations in Asia may be much larger but the trend is catching on in the EU and, pending a supportive regulatory environment and incentives, the technology could offer several dozen gigawatts of generation capacity in Europe.