Floating solar: A small but vital role for India’s sunrise sector

(The Third Pole, 11 May 2022) Floating solar plants were never part of India’s plans to reach 100 GW of solar power by the end of this year. But the benefits are becoming clearer and numbers are on the rise.

India’s G20 presidency next year offers a “golden opportunity” to accelerate the deployment of renewable energies, environment minister Bhupender Yadav told reporters on 26 April in a meeting with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This year is a litmus test for progress, representing a deadline for India’s renewable energy target of 175 gigawatts.

While floating solar photovoltaic (FSPV) was not originally envisaged as part of the mix, which only included terrestrial and rooftop solar, it has emerged as a small but not insignificant catalyst for the figures.

Despite later including large hydropower in the renewable category to help meet the target of 175 GW, which originally included only small hydropower, India is still set to miss the goal, with 156.6 GW of utility-scale renewables as of March 2022, plus an estimated 11 GW of rooftop solar. The shortfall, due mostly to the slow development of rooftop solar, highlights the need to further diversify India’s portfolio of green energy sources.

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The Third Pole, 11 May 2022: Floating solar: A small but vital role for India’s sunrise sector