Solar farms on water: KfW and TERI host expert session on Floating Solar Photovoltaic

How can India benefit from Floating Solar Photovoltaic (FSPV)? Around 50 experts from the solar sector gathered for the sixth edition of the Saurya Samvad, based on the theme ‘Floating Solar Photovoltaic (FSPV) Plants: Opportunities, Challenges, and Way Ahead’, to discuss opportunities and challenges connected to the installation of solar systems on floating water bodies. The Saurya Samvad is a recurring event organized by the German Development Bank- KfW to connect stakeholders from the solar sector. This edition was hosted on 21 June in New Delhi in cooperation with TERI and attracted representatives from academia, banks, insurance companies, distribution utilities and institutions such as World Bank, ADB, SECI, NTPC, NHPC, Green Job Council (Skill India).

The half-day workshop was divided into two sessions. The first session started with a general overview of the status quo, potential, opportunities and challenges regarding FSPV. TERI presented a study on the state-wise potential of Floating Solar Photovoltaic in India. NTPC, NHPC, Yellow Tropus and Renew India shared valuable insights from practical implementation in that area. They stressed the need for detailed site assessments to analyse the surface area of the water body. In addition, future projects need to consider soil and ground specifics and change in water levels during the year and over the years. Ownership and control of water levels in dams; remuneration of reduced evaporation losses; quality standards for floats and guidelines on the design of FSPV plants were further mentioned as crucial for successful project implementation.

The second session revolved around the environmental and social impact of FSPV, such as effects on plants and marine-life, changes in the properties of water, and the question of the long-term sustainability of the projects. The participants expressed the need to collect more data and carry out zone-wise studies in India to gain a better understanding of the common effects of FSPV projects on local conditions. KfW from their side affirmed Germany’s consisting support for solar projects in India, including FSPV, through funding preparatory studies and final investments.