The major reasons the world is now adopting floating solar panels are that they do away with the need to acquire large tracts of land and the government policies and initiatives that support their usage. Owing to these factors, the floating solar panels market, which generated revenue of $685.2 million in 2019, is predicted to advance to $2,301.8 million by 2026. Such photovoltaic (PV) panels are fixed on top of a buoyant structure, which floats on water.
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On the basis of type, the industry is bifurcated into solar-tracking and stationary panels, of which the stationary bifurcation held the larger share in 2019. This is because these variants are not affected much by water currents, and they are also cheaper than solar-tracking panels. Moreover, if a panel is damaged, it is easier and more cost-effective to restructure a stationary variant. This is the reason the stationary bifurcation will keep generating the higher revenue during the forecast period (2020–2026).
The major growth driver for the floating solar panels market advance is that the technology doesn’t entail the acquisition of land. Large-scale conventional PV plants require huge areas of land to generate commercially viable electricity. The land can be otherwise used for agricultural and urban development purposes, which has been restraining the growth of the global solar energy market. Thus, to keep the land free for other potential applications, the floating PV technology is being promoted around the world.
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The floating solar panels market is also advancing on account of the increasing investments in renewable energy. Huge amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) are released into the atmosphere during the combustion of gas, crude oil, and coal at power plants for generating electricity. This has been the biggest cause of air pollution, global warming, climate change, and ozone depletion. To curb environmental degradation, sustainability initiatives aimed at utilizing cleaner sources for creating electricity are being taken. This is leading to the increasing investments in renewable technologies, including floating PV plants.
Asia-Pacific (APAC) is the largest floating solar panels market presently, and it is expected to continue being so till 2026. Due to the strong government support for renewable energy, APAC is already the largest producer of solar power in the world. In addition, the strict emission-control regulations, huge demand for land for various purposes, and rising requirement for cheap electricity are driving the installation of PV panels in regional waterbodies. In most of the APAC countries, there is extremely less land to spare, on account of the booming population and expanding cities here.