Floating Solar, Key to Clean Energy, Now Embraced by Southeast Asia

The growth of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in Southeast Asia, particularly through floating installations, is becoming pivotal in the region’s energy landscape.

Rystad Energy’s research indicates that Southeast Asia is expected to account for 10% of the region’s total solar capacity by 2030, including ground-mounted, rooftop, and floating PV installations.

Floating PV (FPV) projects address challenges related to land rights and limited available land for solar farms. Southeast Asia is set to add 300 MW of FPV capacity in early 2024, with countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand leading this trend.

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The success of FPV projects can alleviate land access tensions, especially in areas where land is predominantly used for agriculture. This approach allows for the coexistence of solar farms and agriculture, promoting sustainable energy integration.

Floating Solar Energy

Thailand has already adopted this model, with companies contracting FPVs and procuring electricity through private power purchase agreements (PPAs), similar to rooftop solar leasing. The FPV strategy can be instrumental in addressing land rights issues, promoting the sustainable integration of solar energy, and providing a model for other countries facing similar challenges.

Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand are expected to lead Southeast Asia’s expansion into floating solar, leveraging their geographic features and water bodies for FPV projects. ACEN, based in the Philippines, is set to become a leading FPV developer in the region, working on projects like the 1 GW installation on Laguna Lake.

Indonesia is also entering the FPV space, with plans for a 1.8 GW project at the Duriangkang reservoir in Batam. The growth of FPV projects in Southeast Asia presents opportunities for clean energy generation without deforestation, considering a significant portion of the region is covered by dense rainforests.

The article concludes by highlighting the potential of FPVs to navigate the delicate balance between agricultural needs and expanding renewable energy infrastructure, setting an example for sustainable development in the region.

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