Amid trouble securing land for future projects, some municipalities and developers are looking to a new frontier to kickstart the rollout of new solar capacity. Floating solar systems hold tremendous untapped potential.
This issue is not about marginal gains. Japan has enough inland water surfaces to support close to 40 GW of floating solar capacity, concluded the state research hub, NEDO. Most of the nation’s 154,000 agricultural reservoirs and 3,000 dams remain “untapped”.
Inland water surfaces are not the only spaces to be tapped. The Tokyo Metropolitan government recently moved to create a fund that includes support for offshore solar system development. The investment is also part of a grand future-city planning project that will leverage new energy tech in the Tokyo Bay to showcase multiple energy, sustainability and automation initiatives.
“Cutting-edge renewable energy” is one of the three core themes of the Tokyo Bay eSG Project this year. Under this umbrella, city officials promise to demonstrate the first sea-based floating solar farm in the country. But what impact will it have on the domestic solar industry?