13 June 2012
The second day of Intersolar Europe 2012 in Munich widened the range of topics and offered sessions on PV power plants, PV production, and solar thermal technology. Additionally, a set of sessions was held on global PV markets, giving an insight view in the evolving Asian markets.
Izumi Kaizuka from RTS Corporation gave an overview on the Japanese market and reported details on the national FiT program that will go into effect by 1 July and currently is in the parliament hearings. In the draft of the support scheme, the existing limitation to 500 kWh is to be removed, and the FiT rates are subject to be removed every six months. According to Kaizuka, the new FiT scheme will give a push to residential installations. This is further supported by municipalities or prefectures that have their own subsidies for residential installations. However, also megawatt projects should become more attractive under the new FiT regulations. Industry-wise, imports accounted for a relatively small share of 20% last year of the Japanese market. Since as a result of the Fukushima catastrophe, currently there are no nuclear power plants in operation in Japan, a broader structured energy mix is desperately needed in the country, and the national target of PV capacity was set to 28GW installed by 2020.
Frank Haugwitz, head of Intersolar Conference Development spoke about the PV potential in China and reported that the sum of national targets programs and investments confirms the political commitment to support the long-term deployment of PV in the country. Due to the sustained energy demand, the market offers an enormous potential in the coming years and decades, and multiple GW will be installed annually in China in the coming years. The national target of 10GW installed by 2015 issued in the 12th five year plan has already been replaced in December by the new target of 15GW installed by 2020; numbers which according to Haugwitz are still too conservative. Qinghai had been the leading province last year with 1,003 MW installed and 1.4GW estimated for 2012. Out of the 2.7GW installed in 2011, 80% were large scale ground mounted installations. Talking these numbers, good opportunities are seen also for foreign companies, despite the strong domestic industry position. Foreign financing opportunities for large-scale installation exist as well, says Haugwitz.
Samerjai Suksumek, Deputy Director-General, Energy Policy and Planning Office, presented the PV market in Thailand. Within the next decade, the dominance of natural gas in energy production should be reduced, and alternative energy sources should gain a 25% share in the energy mix of the country. The countries’ renewable development plan foresees a total target of 5,607MW of renewables by 2022, out of this 2,000MW PV, according to the national alternative energy development plan. In order to reach this, the current adder rate system could be replaced by an FIT system in the future.
Similar to Thailand, fossil fuels still are the backbone of the energy mix in Malaysia as well, according to Datuk Loo Took Gee, Secretary General in Ministry of Energy. End of 2011 only 68.45MW of renewables were connected to the grid, out of this about 11MW PV. However, some 1GW off-grid installations already existed as well, with a good share of installations using palm oil to produce energy. The Malaysian renewable action plan which was issued in 2010 foresees an 11% share of renewables by the year 2020. Main principles of the act are a guaranteed access to the grid, commercially reasonable FiT rates which at the moment range between 21-31 Eurocents according to the size of system and defined time periods for the support to give certainty for investors. Commercial PV plants with up to 5 MW will not have fixed rates but be open for bits under the new support scheme. This is being capped by a quota for renewables. As to production Malaysia is reported to have a production capacity of 3,693 MW and the government facilitates new production sites.
The last speaker, Yani Witjaksono from the Indonesian Renewable Energy Society presented the presidential decree that 17% of renewables shall be installed by 2025 in the energy mix. Already the utility PLN plans 589 installations in the country, 55% of them off-grid, another 38 percent would be hybrid installations combined with diesel, and only 7% of the OV installations would be grid-connected. While there is no particular regulation for solar yet, there is an FiT support scheme in the process of finalizing.
Written by Andreas Breyer, Senior Editor, Solar Novus Today