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Small footprint, strong performance, floating photovoltaic power generation is popular worldwide

The international academic journal Nature has published new research showing that the placement of floating solar panels in key reservoirs around the world can dramatically increase power generation capacity to save water and thus meet the electricity requirements of thousands of major cities.

This type of floating photovoltaic technology, in which solar panels are placed and fixed on the surface of a river and connected to underwater cables to produce electricity, is accelerating its popularity around the world. The function is the same as land-based solar power stations, but the power generation capacity is much higher than on land, not only saving precious area, but also reducing evaporation from the water surface, which is the technological achievement of the photovoltaic industry to meet the needs of the time and keep pace with the times.

▪ Annual production of electricity generation development potential of more than 9,000 TWh

Nature Sustainability highlights that there are more than 110,000 reservoirs around the world eligible for the use of floating photovoltaic power generation, with a total area of 554,111,000 hectares. If 30% of this reservoir exterior is covered, that is, each reservoir coverage must not exceed 30 square kilometers, can reduce the annual volatility of 106 cubic kilometers of water flow, close to more than 300 million per year water needs, but also to complete the average annual floating photovoltaic power development potential of 9434 TWh, which is about 2.4 times the total production of electricity generation in the United States in 2021, the European Union countries in 2021 to produce This is approximately 2.4 times the total amount of electricity produced in the United States in 2021 and more than three times the total amount of electricity produced in EU countries in 2021. If the penetration rate were to drop to 20% or 10%, the average annual floating PV capacity would be 7,113 TWh and 4,356 TWh, respectively.

Elliott Novak, one of the co-authors of the academic paper and an environmental engineer at the University of California, Santa Cruz campus, stated, "The potential for floating PV development is astounding, about 10 times the strength of current solar power plants, and if I were told when to promote this technology, I think it would be now."

According to the reservoir site, population density dispersion, power supply system and many other factors, the world's cumulative 6256 cities can complete the electric energy self-reliance through floating photovoltaic power generation, mainly including 154 large cities. Novak stressed that floating PV must be smooth and free of dark shadows on the water, with irrigation channels, quarry lakes or reservoirs as idealized addresses. In fact, this technology is largely beneficial to the rural areas of urban areas where the population density is relatively small scattered.

The U.S. "Wired" stressed that previous studies have shown that countries around the world need to spend 0.5% to 5% of their respective areas on solar power plants in order to achieve a full range of carbon seepage. Solar power station new projects in the sector of electric energy covers a total area of 70 times the natural gas power project.

▪ In our country floating photovoltaic development more quickly

Nature - Sustainability" summarized the world's 20 floating photovoltaic power generation potential of the largest countries, in which the United States to 1911 TWh per year to lead, our country to 1107 TWh per year slightly inferior, Mexico to 865 TWh per year to hold steady in the 3rd, India's and Canada each hold steady in the 4th and 5th.

Based on the U.S. power project consumption capacity in 2021, 30% of the country's reservoirs using floating photovoltaic power generation, to meet nearly half of the U.S. electricity demand. So far, China, the United States, Mexico, a few of our country is now beginning to use floating photovoltaic technology under a certain volume.

China in this technology level development trend is fast and the most obvious results. China Electric Construction Group Hubei Province Engineering Co., Ltd. in Shandong Province to build Jingneng Dezhou Dingzhuang reservoir 320MW new project, is currently the world's single larger light power water floating photovoltaic power station, at the end of 2021 full volume of photovoltaic power generation and grid.

At the end of last year, in our country and Thailand to collaborate in the construction of Thailand's larger light power water floating photovoltaic project completed the commissioning, power generation capacity of 9,500 many watt hours. 2021 October, Bosheng between the two countries in northeastern Thailand construction of fluctuating hydropower solar power electrostatic field was put into operation, can produce 45MW of power engineering. This project selects the hybrid equipment, namely converting solar power generation in the daytime and using hydroelectric power plant at night.

The European region is also accelerating the deployment of floating photovoltaic projects. According to Reuters reports, the European region larger floating solar power station field in July last year gradually production power generation, to be able to supply power system for about 1500 households.

▪ Costs are still a barrier to development

Improve the efficiency of power generation is one of the key competitive advantages of floating photovoltaic power generation. Because the higher the temperature of the photovoltaic module itself, the more energy is consumed, therefore, in the sea conditions can reduce the operating temperature of solar modules, and thus enhance the working efficiency of the components.

U.S. technology trends news "technology art" stressed that solar panels can shade, thus reducing the temperature of the water, reduce the evaporation of water; on the contrary, the water can cool the solar panels, so that floating photovoltaic power generation high efficiency than land-based photovoltaic power generation than 15%. In addition, saving indoor space on land can vacate a lot of farmland for farming and animal husbandry or habitat maintenance.

At this stage, the greater obstacle to the use of floating photovoltaic technology is the cost, because the floating solar panels must be directed to the system software fixed immobile, this time it will require additional costs. The United States our renewable energy laboratory new energy technology and policy researcher Sika Ghazanku shows that the assembly of floating photovoltaic power generation system costs 25% higher than on land, and will reduce the water oxygen content, damage fish species and even affect the balance of the marine ecosystem, and even to the body of water to produce adverse effects.

"Taking into full consideration the marine ecosystem, we should further study the potential hazards of floating photovoltaic power generation." Ghazanku said bluntly, "while also dealing with a series of issues such as current policies, overall planning, equity financing, control, service support and construction maintenance and maintenance."

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