Floating Solar Panels: Potential Applications in Ireland's Water Bodies

Joe Brennan
May 7, 2023

Are you curious how we can maximise Ireland's water bodies and renewable energy opportunities? We were too. Having learnt that Mayo-based SolarMarine Energy has devised a unique low-carbon solution in the form of floating solar panels, our interest was piqued.

This blog post explores potential applications for these innovative photovoltaic systems on Irish waters. Read on - it's time to see your local reservoir in a new light!

Potential Applications of Floating Solar Panels in Ireland's Water Bodies

Usually, Floating solar panels:  Potential applications in Ireland's water bodies have the potential to cool down threatened lakes, generate electricity, serve as a buffer against warming, and explore global applications.

Cooling Down Lakes Threatened By Climate Change

Climate change threatens our lakes by causing them to warm up, which harms the aquatic life living in them. Our response? Floating solar panels. By covering a small part of a lake's surface with these green energy machines, we can generate eco-friendly electricity and protect our water bodies from overheating.

This works because the floating solar panels block some of the sun's heat that would otherwise go directly into the water. Therefore, we can keep our lakes cooler and maintain an environment where fish and other wildlife thrive.

With this innovative approach, we're tackling two serious issues: climate change and renewable energy production. Deploying this type of solution in Ireland is precisely what companies like SolarMarine Energy intend to do – providing sustainable, low-carbon solutions for ourselves while protecting precious natural resources.

Generating Electricity For Up To 12.5%

Floating solar panels have the incredible potential to generate electricity for up to 12.5% of Ireland's energy needs. With their ability to harness the sun's power, these innovative photovoltaic systems can be installed on water bodies such as reservoirs and lakes.

By utilising this previously untapped space, floating solar panels offer a sustainable solution that maximises land availability while reducing our carbon footprint. This means that homeowners across Ireland could benefit from clean, renewable energy that helps combat climate change and contributes to a greener future for us all.

In addition to providing a significant source of electricity generation, floating solar panels also serve as an effective buffer against warming temperatures caused by climate change.

Covering water surfaces with their photovoltaic cells prevents direct sunlight from heating vulnerable ecosystems like lakes and reservoirs. This helps maintain aquatic biodiversity and ensures the longevity and health of these vital water bodies.

Serving As A Buffer Against Warming

Floating solar panels in Ireland's water bodies can buffer against warming. By covering the surface of lakes, reservoirs, and canals with solar panels, the solar panels absorb the sunlight instead of being converted into heat energy that contributes to warming.

This helps mitigate climate change's effects on aquatic ecosystems and maintain stable water temperatures. Additionally, floating solar systems reduce evaporation rates, which helps conserve valuable water resources.

Installing floating solar panels generates clean and renewable electricity and provides an innovative solution for combating global warming impacts on our water bodies.

So, call no now Going Solar for solar panel installations. They deliver the Best Solar PV  installation services in Dublin & Leinster. Get installation service for both residential & commercial locations.

Exploring Global Potential

Floating solar panels have immense potential on a global scale. They can be installed in various water bodies, including lakes, reservoirs, and canals, providing renewable energy while conserving land resources.

Studies have shown that floating solar systems on reservoirs alone could generate three times more electricity than the European Union! These innovative solutions are environmentally friendly and highly efficient in energy generation.

With ongoing research into floating solar technology and its impact on aquatic ecosystems, it's clear that this low-carbon solution has far-reaching benefits beyond Ireland's shores.

Benefits of Pairing Floating Solar Panels with Hydropower Reservoirs

Pairing floating solar panels with hydropower reservoirs offers numerous benefits, including optimising land use, utilising existing infrastructure, and reducing the impact of climate change on our water sources.

Read more to discover how this innovative approach can provide sustainable energy solutions for Ireland's homeowners.

Optimising Land Use And Limited Land Availability

Floating solar panels: Potential applications in Ireland's water bodies offer a unique solution for optimising land use and overcoming limited land availability in Ireland. Homeowners can harness the sun's power without using valuable land resources by placing solar panels on water bodies like reservoirs, lakes, and canals.

This is especially important in a country with limited land for renewable energy projects. Floating solar farms can be installed in underused bodies of water, such as coal quarries and mineral extraction pits, using previously unused spaces to generate clean, green energy.

With this innovative approach to solar power generation, Irish homeowners can take advantage of renewable energy without sacrificing valuable land resources.

In addition to optimising land use, installing floating solar panels on water bodies provides several other benefits. It allows for efficiently utilising existing reservoirs by generating solar electricity alongside hydropower production.

This dual-purpose approach maximises energy efficiency while reducing environmental impact. Furthermore, the negative effects of climate change on rivers and lakes can be minimised using floating solar systems instead of traditional ground-mounted ones.

Providing Solar Electricity While Utilising Existing Reservoirs

Floating solar panels offer a unique solution for providing solar electricity while utilising existing reservoirs. By installing these panels on the surface of reservoirs, we can harness the power of the sun to generate clean and renewable energy.

This innovative approach optimises land use and addresses the limited availability of suitable land for traditional solar installations. Not only does it provide a sustainable energy source, but it also helps reduce the impact of climate change on rivers and lakes by acting as a buffer against warming temperatures.

With floating solar panels, we can tap into the potential of our water bodies to contribute to our energy needs while promoting environmental sustainability.

Reducing The Impact Of Climate Change On Rivers And Lakes

Floating solar panels offer an innovative solution to reducing the impact of climate change on rivers and lakes. These panels can generate clean electricity by harnessing the sun's power while serving as a buffer against warming temperatures.

We can optimise land use and minimise the impact on aquatic ecosystems by utilising underused bodies of water such as reservoirs and coal quarries. Additionally, studies have shown that floating solar systems on reservoirs can produce three times more electricity than what is currently generated in the entire European Union.

This means that by embracing floating solar technology, we can significantly mitigate climate change while ensuring a sustainable future for our rivers and lakes.

The Next Generation of Floating Solar Power

The next generation of floating solar power brings new opportunities for landowners to utilise underused bodies of water and benefit from clean energy generation. It also has the potential to enhance water quality and reduce evaporation rates, making it a sustainable solution for both energy production and water management.

Helping Landowners Benefit From Underused Bodies Of Water

Floating solar panels offer an innovative solution for landowners looking to benefit from underused bodies of water. By installing floating solar systems in coal quarries, mineral extraction pits, and reservoirs, landowners can harness the power of the sun to generate clean and renewable energy.

These installations help landowners make productive use of their otherwise unused water resources and contribute to reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

With ongoing research into the environmental impact and efficiency of floating solar technology, it's an exciting opportunity for homeowners in Ireland to play a part in transitioning towards a more sustainable future while maximising the potential of their underutilised water bodies.

Enhancing Water Quality And Reducing Evaporation Rates

Floating solar panels have the potential to enhance water quality and reduce evaporation rates in Ireland's water bodies. By covering the surface of lakes, reservoirs, and canals with solar panels, the panels act as a protective barrier against direct sunlight.

This helps to reduce water evaporation, preserving valuable water resources in regions prone to droughts. Additionally, by shading the water surface, floating solar panels help prevent algal blooms and limit the growth of harmful bacteria that can negatively impact aquatic ecosystems.

The use of Floating solar panels:  Potential applications in Ireland's water bodies generate clean energy and contribute to better water management and conservation efforts.


The potential applications of floating solar panels in Ireland's water bodies are vast and promising. Not only can they help cool down lakes threatened by climate change, but they can also generate a significant amount of electricity.

Pairing them with hydropower reservoirs optimises land use and minimises the impact on rivers and lakes. As we explore the next generation of floating solar power, we can benefit from underused bodies of water while enhancing water quality and reducing evaporation rates.

It is clear that floating solar panels offer a sustainable solution for Ireland's energy needs while mitigating climate change effects on our aquatic ecosystems.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are floating solar panels, and how do they work?

Floating solar panels are photovoltaic systems that are installed on water bodies such as lakes, ponds, or reservoirs. They work by harnessing the sun's energy to generate electricity through the use of solar cells.

How can floating solar panels benefit Ireland's water bodies?

Floating solar panels have several potential benefits for Ireland's water bodies. They can help maximise the use of available land by utilising unused water surfaces, reduce evaporation from reservoirs, provide renewable energy generation without taking up valuable land resources, and contribute to the country's efforts in transitioning towards clean energy sources.

Are there any challenges or limitations associated with implementing floating solar panels in Ireland?

Some challenges and limitations associated with implementing floating solar panels in Ireland include potential impacts on aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity, technological considerations such as weather conditions and maintenance requirements, regulatory frameworks governing installations on water bodies, and a potential visual impact on landscapes.

What potential applications could floating solar panels have in Ireland?

Floating solar panels could have various applications in Ireland, including powering wastewater treatment plants, providing renewable energy for irrigation systems or aquaculture facilities, enhancing existing hydroelectric power stations by combining them with floating photovoltaic systems, and contributing to decentralised off-grid electrification projects in remote areas near water bodies.

Are there any challenges associated with floating solar panel installations in water bodies?

While floating solar panels offer many benefits, some challenges should be considered. These include potential water body usage conflicts, securing necessary permits and approvals, and adapting the installation to withstand varying water levels and weather conditions. Proper planning, environmental assessments, and collaboration with local stakeholders are crucial to addressing these challenges effectively.

What are the economic benefits of implementing floating solar panels in Ireland?

Floating solar panels can bring several economic advantages to Ireland. However, by utilising water surfaces for solar energy generation, the country can increase its renewable energy capacity and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Additionally, floating solar projects create job opportunities in the solar industry and support economic growth.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
Author Fahad Zahid
Founder @ Going Solar

Joe Brennan, the founder of Going Solar, is dedicated to making solar power mainstream in Ireland and meet SEAI objectives. With a focus on affordability and sustainability, he is bringing renewable energy solutions to homes, reducing costs & environmental impact.