February 4, 2020 Read More →

Study sees potential for almost 3GW of floating PV capacity at German lignite mines

PV Magazine:

A study undertaken by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) for renewable energy developer Baywa re, has calculated lignite open-cast ponds in Germany could host 56 GW of floating PV project generation capacity.

“After deducting the estimated areas relevant for leisure activities, tourism, nature and landscape conservation, there remains an economic potential of 2.74 GW,” the researchers added.

The researchers found almost 500 open-pit lakes with a total area of more than 47,000ha in Germany, most of them in the eastern states of Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony. Some 4.9% of those water surfaces would be suitable for floating photovoltaic projects, according to the research institute, with the greatest potential reportedly lying in the Lausitz lignite mining region.

The researchers pointed out open-cast lignite mines make up just under 13% of the 4,474 artificial bodies of water in Germany.

It has been estimated that Germany will require a ninefold increase in its installed PV generation capacity, to around 500 GW, to complete its transition to a zero-carbon energy system.

“Floating PV power plants are a relatively new concept for the use of photovoltaics but for which there is a great potential for electricity generation worldwide, not least because they allow a [land] neutral expansion,” said Fraunhofer ISE director Andreas Bett. The area utilization coefficient for floating photovoltaics is very high, at around 1.33 MW of generation capacity per hectare installed.

[Sandra Enkhardt]

More: German coal mines could host 3 GW of floating PV

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