The Assam government is intensifying its efforts to boost solar power generation in the state, with a focus on installing floating solar plants on water bodies.
The government has set an ambitious target of generating 1,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity within the next three years, as part of its broader plan to increase the state’s solar power capacity.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma emphasized the government’s commitment to establishing Assam as a green energy hub, highlighting the state’s current requirement of 2,200 MW of power to supply electricity to all households.
To leverage the potential of solar energy, the government is planning to create an enabling environment for investment in solar energy by the private sector, state government, and individuals.
This initiative includes the installation of rooftop solar power plants in various districts of the state. Furthermore, the government aims to reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels in the coming years and has proposed the deployment of floating solar power plants in several wetlands.
Notably, the cooling effect of water bodies is expected to enhance the performance of solar photovoltaic panels by 5-10%, and these floating solar plants are envisioned to provide electricity to households located near the ponds.
The state has already witnessed the successful installation of Northeast India’s first floating solar power plant with a capacity of 10.50 kW, signaling a significant step towards achieving its renewable energy goals. This move towards floating solar power plants aligns with a global trend, as scientists and researchers are increasingly exploring the potential of floatovoltaics to unlock clean power without occupying additional land space.
While floatovoltaics offer various benefits, such as energy generation and land conservation, there are also considerations regarding their environmental impact and the need for further research to ensure sustainable integration.
The impact of floating photovoltaic power plants on lake water temperature and stratification is an area of ongoing study, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive assessments to minimize adverse effects on water bodies and maximize the potential of this technology.