Aqua~Media International Ltd is the publisher of The International Journal on Hydropower and Dams, and the organizer of the HYDRO, ASIA and AFRICA event series.
The US Department of Energy predicts that a combination of floating solar panels and hydropower/dam reservoirs could produce up to 40 per cent of the world’s electricity, and many countries have begun to exploit some of the vast global potential over the past five years. A recent World Bank market report highlights the rapid growth in this technology. Reservoirs are the natural companions to solar PV, as they provide the space on which the panels can be installed, and they may also provide additional benefits, such as cooling of the panels, and providing storage for the intermittent solar electricity. Many of the developing countries of Africa and Asia, with hydro reservoirs in operation, and abundant sunshine, could especially benefit from this technology.
The International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), through its Technical Committee on Emerging Challenges and Solutions, has begun work on this topic, and intends to publish a Technical Bulletin next year.
This two-day event brought together (virtually) owners and operators, researchers, consultants, contractors and suppliers (from the hydro and PV industries), financiers, and in particular, those planning to embark on a programme of floating solar PV (FPV) developments.
This was the first international event where the dam, hydro and solar PV sectors have come together, specifically to explore experience, challenges and future opportunities in this rapidly emerging technology.
Speakers included operators and consultants who already have experience of developing floating solar installations, in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, and shared knowledge with others wishing to learn about technical, environmental, risk management, and economic/financial aspects of FPV schemes. Everything from global benefits, to the practicalities of mooring systems for solar panels, and ensuring safety to the installation and the water infrastructure, will be covered in presentations and discussions. Future potential and plans in many parts of the world will be highlighted.
Chairman of the ICOLD Technical Committee on Emerging Challenges and Solutions, Luc Deroo of France, was the overall chair of the programme, which comprised presentations by international experts on each morning, followed later by panel discussions on four main topics.
Organizations influencing policy, such as the European Commission, World Bank, EIB, IRENA, SERIS, IEA, and NREL will be taking part.
Aqua~Media is pleased to be working in partnership with ICOLD again, for this virtual conference which will be the first to bring together international experts from the dams/hydropower profession with their counterparts in the solar PV industry, specifically to discuss floating solar PV on reservoirs.