Great potential! 3GW floating solar photovoltaic power station can be installed in a German colliery pool.
That means that the need of floating solar PV mounting
is large accordingly.
The Fraunhofer ISE Institute estimates that the potential of floating solar photovoltaic technology
in German mining sites is about 56GW. Floating solar projects
cost 10-15% more than onshore alternatives, so the researchers call for further incentives, such as "innovation bidding.".
A study by the franhoff Institute of solar systems (ISE) for renewable energy developer Baywa re has calculated that the lignite outcrop in Germany can accommodate 56 million kilowatts of floating solar photovoltaic power generation projects
"After deducting the estimated area associated with leisure activities, tourism, nature and landscape protection, there is still an economic potential of 2.74GW." the researchers added.
The researchers found that nearly 500 open lakes in Germany covered more than 47,000 hectares. Most of them are located in Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt and Saxony. According to the Institute, about 4.9% of these water surfaces are suitable for floating solar photovoltaic projects
, and the largest potential is reported to be in the Lausitz lignite mining area.
The researchers pointed out that open-pit lignite mines accounted for only 13% of Germany's 4,474 man-made water bodies.
In order to develop floating solar photovoltaic technology and reduce investment costs, Fraunhofer ISE said that technology incentives, which are similar to those awarded by the Dutch government would be necessary.
At present, all German photovoltaic projects with a power generation capacity of more than 750 kW are competing in open tender, and the system can reduce the cost of floating facilities, which may be 10-15% more expensive than alternatives installed on the ground. "Therefore, it makes sense to have 'innovation bids' for floating solar PV plants and other innovative PV plants that still need to be market driven," the Fraunhofer report said.
"To avoid time-consuming changes to land-use plans, floating PV technologies that are not related to land should be given priority, as is the case today," said Harry Wirth, head of photovoltaic modules and power plants at Fraunhofer ISE. Weiss added that open pit mines should be considered conversion zones under German renewable energy law.
It is estimated that Germany needs to increase its installed PV capacity by nine times to reach about 500 GW to complete the transition to a zero carbon energy system.
Andreas Bett, director of Fraunhofer ISE, said: "floating solar PV plants are a relatively new concept for the use of photovoltaic technology, but for the world, it has great power generation potential, especially because they allow [land] neutral expansion." The area utilization rate of floating PV is very high, and the power generation per hectare is about 1.33 MW.
The cooling effect of water also ensures that the output of the floating PV system may be higher than that of similar ground installation facilities.