Nature conservation impacts of floating PV systems

The final report on the first sub-project of a BfN research project on the ecological impact of floating PV systems has been published. However, as the results show, the effects of such systems on nature and the landscape have hardly been researched to date.

The construction of floating PV systems has increased in Germany in recent years. The partial coverage of the lake area changes the light and wind conditions, among other things, which in turn has an impact on the aquatic flora and fauna. A research project has now analysed the international studies on the ecological impact of these facilities. The results show that there is a lack of knowledge about the medium and long-term effects on aquatic ecology and biodiversity in particular and that there is a great need for practical studies.

For this reason, a multi-year concept was developed as part of the project to investigate the aquatic ecological and nature conservation impacts of FPV systems in still waters. In addition to abiotic parameters such as general chemical-physical conditions and water body stratification, the relevant species groups such as macrozoobenthos, birds, amphibians, dragonflies, macrophytes etc. were also taken into account. The concept also proposes methods for determining the impact on the landscape, for measuring potential material impairments and for determining the impact of technical plant components.

In a second project (invitation to tender dated 27 March 2024), the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation plans to investigate the practical effects of floating PV systems on selected abiotic parameters and species groups in three still waters.