Benefits of Pairing Floating Solar Photovoltaic with Hydropower Reservoirs in Europe (National and Regional Level)

33 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2022

See all articles by Georgia Kakoulaki

Georgia Kakoulaki

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Rocio Gonzalez-Sanchez

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ana Gracia Amillo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Sándor Szabó

European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Matteo De Felice

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Fabio Farinosi

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Luca De Felice

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Berny Bisselink

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Roman Seliger

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ioannis Kougias

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Arnulf Jäger-Waldau

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

The growing deployment of ground-based photovoltaic plants in the last decade has increased competition for land and associated acquisition costs. Installation of floating photovoltaic (FPV) in existing hydropower reservoirs offers a solution to limit land use while providing solar electricity, leveraging water bodies, and reducing evaporation losses. This study assesses the potential electricity output of FPVs at regional and national levels in the EU considering three reservoir area coverage scenarios (full-100%, 10%, 1%) and one in which the FPVs have an installed capacity equal to the corresponding hydropower plant. Estimation of the evaporation and water losses for individual reservoirs as well as the water savings considering two types of floats are also analyzed using climatic parameters for the year 2018. Findings reveal that covering 2.3% of the total area of EU reservoirs with FPVs has the potential to generate 42.31 TWh annually when doubling the installed capacity of the hydropower reservoirs. The total water losses are estimated to be up to 9380 mcm and the installation of FPVs can potentially save from 450 to 9380 mcm of water per year. At the national level, France, Portugal, and Spain are the countries with the highest potential water savings. Most of the countries analyzed can produce over 50% of the existing hydropower generation capacity in the same reservoirs by installing FPVs in less than 15% of the total available reservoir area. The FPVs' multi benefits and the existing hydropower potential are compatible with the EU’s ongoing energy transformation and outgrowth.

Keywords: floating solar photovoltaic, hydropower, water saving, evaporation, reservoir

Suggested Citation

Kakoulaki, Georgia and Gonzalez-Sanchez, Rocio and Gracia Amillo, Ana and Szabó, Sándor and De Felice, Matteo and Farinosi, Fabio and De Felice, Luca and Bisselink, Berny and Seliger, Roman and Kougias, Ioannis and Jäger-Waldau, Arnulf, Benefits of Pairing Floating Solar Photovoltaic with Hydropower Reservoirs in Europe (National and Regional Level). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4074448 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4074448

Georgia Kakoulaki (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Rocio Gonzalez-Sanchez

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Ana Gracia Amillo

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Sándor Szabó

European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC) ( email )

Via E. Fermi 2749
Brussels, B-1049
Belgium

Matteo De Felice

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Fabio Farinosi

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Luca De Felice

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Berny Bisselink

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Roman Seliger

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Ioannis Kougias

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Arnulf Jäger-Waldau

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

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