the pv magazine weekly digest

Image: Asunim

The European anti-dumping tariffs saga took another turn this week, as the European Commission announced plans to propose an 18-month extension of the tariffs against Chinese module manufacturers, after the initial proposal to extend the tariffs by two years was rejected by a majority of the European Union’s 28 member states in January.

As with much in European politics of late, there is much disagreement over the most effective way to support PV as it grows, and it remains to be seen what will happen when the 18-month extension proposal is put before the member states on 3rd March.

There was more news from Europe this week, as Germany’s latest tender for 200 MW of capacity showed good competition, with an average bid price of €0.0658/kWh. Nine projects were granted as a result of the tender, with the lowest successful bid at €0.0600.

Storage steams ahead

The latest analysis from Clean Horizon pointed to some big developments in France, which could be set to become the next big market for batteries, after conducting tenders to power its islands with pv+storage.

Crossing the Atlantic, but sticking with storage, another report published this week made some big predictions for the technology. The report from investment bank Morgan Stanley singled out Tesla, which is preparing to eliminate the brand name of its recent U.S. purchase SolarCity, and LG Chem as the players likely to dominate storage in the U.S., which could be a $50 billion market by 2020.

The U.S. market is likely to focus on grid level storage applications, but Tesla and LG are also major players in Australia, and Morgan Stanley sees few other players who will be able to match the scale and efficiency of these two giants.

Lowest price ever

Mexico and the Middle East have been playing leapfrog for the lowest price of solar for a while now. This week its advantage Mexico, as the Latin American country’s second Clean Energy Auction brought a median price for solar of around $US31.70/MWh, the lowest seen in the world to date. Watch this space though, as Abu Dhabi is reportedly preparing to sign a contract for a project at a median of US$24.20/MWh.

Solar is carrying on its steady spread across the planet, and two new countries joined in this week with their first ever utility scale projects. Armenia is reportedly preparing to announce a tender for up to 50 MW of capacity at a site close to the village of Masrik, and Celsia is set to begin construction next month on the first solar power plant in Colombia, a 9.9 MW project in the Valle del Cauca.

German module manufacturers SolarWorld close out the news this week, with the announcement that they will end the production of multicrystalline solar modules to focus entirely on higher efficiency mono. The process is likely to cost around 400 jobs over the next 2 years, but SolarWorld say it will enable them to become more competitive.