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.
A report issued in 2020 by the US Dept 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. Special sessions had been planned by the Technical Committee, to be integrated into Aqua-Media’s AFRICA 2021 conference, which is now postponed until next year.
Therefore, we are pleased to be working together with the Committee to develop the planned session into a two-day on-line conference in July. This two-day event plans to bring 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.
Speakers will include operators and consultants who already have experience of developing floating solar installations, in Europe, Asia and Africa and Latin America, and they will share 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, will be covered in presentations and discussions.
Chairman of the ICOLD Technical Committee on Emerging Challenges and Solutions, Luc Deroo of France, will be overall chair of the programme, which will comprise up to 10 presentations by international experts on each morning, followed by panel discussions on four main topics during each afternoon.