While the solar industry has taken its share of battering this year, some weeks are full of good news for the future of solar. This week was one of those.
World’s lowest-price solar PPA signed in Dubai at US$29.90/MWh
Topping the list, this week the Dubai Electric and Water Authority signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Masdar for the output of the 800 MW second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park, at the record low price of US$ 29.90 per megawatt-hour (MWh).
This is the lowest price PPA that pv magazine has seen to date, but even lower bids have been placed for the next phase of the mega-project.
JA Solar breaks ground on cell factory in Vietnam
And while these low prices are the strongest sign for the future of solar, there is no concrete indicator of industry confidence like building new factories. This week it was revealed that JA Solar has broken ground on a new solar cell factory in Vietnam.
While it is not clear what capacity the factory will have, JA Solar will initially invest $320 million in the factory, with plans to expand this to $1 billion.
Mercom: 76 GW to be installed in 2016
In general, this is looking like a very strong year for solar, on the back of booming markets in China and the United States. This week Mercom Capital released the latest update of its global solar forecast for the full year 2016, which predicts that a staggering 76 GW will be installed. This is 48% increase over 2015 levels and 31 GW of this will be in China alone, as by far the largest amount installed in any one year in any nation.
The United States is also looking strong, with Mercom forecasting that the nation will install 13 GW in 2016 and again in 2017, with a number of utility-scale projects pushed back following the extension of the Investment Tax Credit. Finally, India also is showing the most intense growth path, with 4 GW to be installed this year and 8 GW next year.
World’s first cross-border solar auction
And despite the dark clouds of a nationalism in several nations, pv magazine brings you news of new international cooperation in solar. This week Germany awarded 50 MW of solar contracts to Danish firms for projects to be built on agricultural lands, in the world’s first cross-border auction.