Taiwan increases 2013 solar PV target

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Taiwan has announced its intention to increase its 2013 solar PV target to 130MW from 100MW.

The country’s Bureau of Energy (BOE) is optimistic this will lead to an increase in domestic PV demand by almost 14% from TWD11.6 billion to TWD13.2 billion (US$382 million to US$434 million).

The PV target increase will be divided between tenders (70%) and the remaining 30% non-tendered projects. The non-tendered projects will be limited to 1-30kW rooftop installations.

To reflect the decreasing global costs of PV modules, the power purchasing rate for rooftop PV in the first half of 2013 is NTD6.33-8.40/kWh (US$0.21-0.28), a decrease of between 9.23-11.88% from 2012. For ground-mount PV installations the tariff has been decreased by 11.58% to NTD5.98/kWh (US$0.20).

In the latter half of the year, rooftop PV will be further decreased by 2.54-5.62% to NTD5.98-8.18 /kWh. Ground-mount PV will be NTD5.62/kWh, showing a decrease of 5.95% from the first half of the year.

Taiwan’s domestic market is also benefitting from levies on Chinese manufacturers from the US and proposed tariffs from the European Union.

Glenn Gu, a China-based analyst for business information provider IHS, told Reuters last month that Chinese solar panel suppliers had as much as a 55% share of the 4GW US market in 2012, where 90% of these panels used cells made in Taiwan.

“Assuming the European Union will levy tariffs on cells, and potentially wafers, a pretty strong argument emerges for better prospects for Taiwanese manufacturers in 2013,” concurred Shyam Mehta, analyst with renewable energy consultancy GTM Research.

The set rate will be in effect from 1 January to 31 December 2013.

To further the government’s PV sector expansion plans, the BOE has simplified the authorisation process for installing PV systems.

The BOE has also set a target of 10% for the aggressive growth of Taiwan's PV export market.

Gu said he expected Taiwanese solar cell shipments to increase by 1GW to 1.5GW this year from 5.5GW shipped in 2012.

In addition, the BOE has assisted the Pingtung county government to construct a 23.4MW demonstration zone in the area ravaged by typhoon Morakot in 2009. The system will be developed on a building designed in the shape of a whale which is due to begin on 1 December.

Taiwan is in the top five countries set to dominate solar PV demand in the Asia Pacific and Central Asia region between 2013 and 2017, as predicted by market analysts at NPD Solarbuzz.

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