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New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

The potential of floating solar power in Indonesia


8 min read

Close up of red pin pushed into Indonesia on globe map Photo: Adobe Stock
Cranfield University and partners in Solar2Wave are creating a novel floating photovoltaic solar farm for potential use around islands in Indonesia

Photo: Adobe Stock

A new joint venture between UK researchers and Indonesia, Solar2Wave, is looking at the potential of floating solar power installations, even for locations with large wave heights. Dr Luofeng Huang, Assistant Professor and Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at Cranfield University, explains the concept.

With a large population strung across more than 6,000 small islands, Indonesia's electricity infrastructure faces particular challenges. Around 1.5mn people in remote areas are still living without any connection to the electricity grid and are dependent on diesel engines to generate power. Meanwhile, the global energy crisis means diesel is becoming increasingly unaffordable.


Indonesia’s energy supplies are currently 88% reliant on fossil fuels and a number of new (and controversial) coal-fired power stations, but the population still remains subject to power cuts and shortages. The Indonesia National Energy Policy includes a target for 23% of the country’s total energy supply to come from renewable sources by 2030 (and be net zero by 2060). However, the costs of transformation for a nation where 76% of its surface area is ocean are daunting. Offshore wind turbines have already been dismissed as being too expensive for many locations.


A new joint venture between the UK and Indonesia, Solar2Wave, is aiming to provide an easier, lower cost, long-term solution to the energy dilemma. The year-long project will see robust testing of floating photovoltaic solar farms (FPV), funded with £300,000 by the Innovate UK Energy Catalyst scheme. Led by researchers at Cranfield University and UK SME Achelous Energy, the partners in Indonesia include Pattimura University, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Orela Shipyard and Gerbang Multindo Nusantara.


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