Taiwan ups solar FITs, sets 500 MW 2016 target

Unlike the U.K., which has slashed solar support, Taiwan has decided upon the route also recently favored by the U.S., which has shown increased support for the industry in the ITC extension, by increasing funding for PV installations.

Having decided not to "follow the percentage of decline in international costs of installation," the Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs has set new tariffs for next year at 5.6% higher than in 2015. In order to boost activity in the northern part of the country, and in Miaoli County in western Taiwan, it has agreed upon a 12.5% increase. The following table shows the FIT for 2015:

Technology

Type

Capacity (kW)

Period 1 US cents/kWh

Period 2 US cents/kWh

Solar PV

Rooftop

?1 ~ <20

22.1397

21.5229

? 20 ~ < 100

18.5090

17.9871

? 100 ~ < 500

17.2990

16.8242

? 500

16.7532

16.3023

Ground-mount

?1

15.7565

15.3294

The maximum tariff will be paid to projects that are awarded bids between September and December and fall under the category of Type 1 or 2 power generation equipment, if construction is completed within six months of the application being agreed.

As bidding is required for ground-mounted projects above 50 kW, the tariff here is just a guideline. In a presentation on Renewable Energy Promotion Policies in Taiwan, released this October by the Bureau of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs, the ministry wrote, "Developers proposing higher discount rates receive the priority to get the quota."

Taiwan introduced the FIT system for renewables in July 2009 under its Renewable Energy Development Act. It reviews tariffs each year, although the ministry states that they may not be lower than the average cost for fossil-fired power of domestic power utilities.

Overall, the ministry has set a solar PV installation target of 500 MW for 2016. According to the October presentation, cumulative capacity should reach 1.11 GW this year, 3.615 GW by 2020, 6.2 GW by 2025 and 8.7 GW by 2030. The ministry did not provide installation figures for 2015, although Bloomberg New Energy Finance calculates 506 MW will be installed, up from 240 MW in 2014. pv magazine has contacted officials for more information. In 2013, cumulative capacity reached 392 MW, reported the ministry.