Floating Solar PV ‘Game-Changer’ For Southeast Asia

With 500 MW FPV Capacity Already Online In Southeast Asia, Rystad Energy Forecasts Another 300 MW In Early-2024

Floating Solar PV ‘Game-Changer’ For Southeast Asia

Rystad Energy lists the various benefits of FPV for Southeast Asia. (Photo Credit: Rystad Energy)

  • Rystad Energy sees significant potential for Southeast Asia to boost its clean energy generation with FPV 
  • The region can do with FPV helping it save land, protect from deforestation and use its hydropower infrastructure effectively 
  • Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are expected to lead the growth of these projects here 

Rystad Energy sees floating solar PV (FPV) as a ‘game-changer’ for land-constrained Southeast Asian nations to help increase their clean energy generation capacity. The region is already home to around 500 MW operational FPV capacity with another 300 MW expected to be added in early-2024 alone. 

Altogether, the region is likely to account for 10% of Asia’s total solar capacity by 2030 comprising ground-mounted, rooftop and FPV. 

Why FPV Suits Southeast Asia 

Along with saving land required for large-scale projects, FPV projects suit Southeast Asia due to their modular design allowing for integration with existing hydropower dams, thus unlocking tremendous opportunities for hydropower-rich nations such as Laos, Thailand and Indonesia. At the same time, FPV is an opportunity for the region whose significant portion is covered by dense rainforests. 

Currently, the largest operational FPV project in Southeast Asia is the 145 MW AC Cirata facility in Indonesia that’s already scheduled for an expansion (see SE Asia’s Largest Floating Solar Plant Inaugurated).  

Additionally, with land rights a major deterrent facing solar developers in Southeast Asia, as much of the land is used for agriculture, FPVs provide a solution for the coexistence of solar farms and agriculture,” added Rystad Energy’s Head of Asia Renewables and Power Research Jun Yee Chew. 

Countries to lead push into FPV 

Southeast Asia’s charge into FPV projects will be led by the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand, according to the analysts. 

Innovative power use concepts are also being explored, like in Thailand where companies are contracting FPVs through private power purchase agreements (PPA) similar to rooftop solar leasing. “This symbiotic relationship allows landowners to power their businesses with clean energy while mitigating the risk of disputes between solar developers and farmers, who argue for the land to be used for agricultural purposes,” explains Rystad. 

Analysts believe the success of the Thai model sets a precedent for navigating the balance between agricultural needs and expanding renewable energy infrastructure. 

While the Philippines is home to several large inland lakes that are suitable for FPV, Indonesia is a hydropower powerhouse and can use its infrastructure to expand FPV. Rystad adds that its forecast for Indonesia does not include projects built for electricity exports to Singapore. 

The development of FPV projects in Indonesia is expected to accelerate, given the temporary reduction in local content requirements for solar PV until 2025, when the nation’s first PV manufacturing plant is expected to come online,” said Chew. 

Recently, Malaysia’s Semarak Renewable Energy and China’s PowerChina launched the country’s 1st large-scale green hydrogen production facility powered by an FPV project (see Green Hydrogen Generation With Floating Solar Plant). 

Earlier an NREL study also explored the potential of FPV for 10 ASEAN nations, pegging their technical potential at 825 GW (see Floating Solar Prospects In Southeast Asia). 

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Senior News Editor: Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. --Email : [email protected] --

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