Taiwan’s ambitious clean energy plans continue to attract overseas investors seeking to tap still sizable market volume.
Singaporean clean energy provider Sunseap Group has partnered with Pacific Green Energy Co Ltd in a joint venture to develop 100 MW of PV capacity in Taiwan. According to an announcement of the arrangement, the generation capacity will be built over the next three years and consist of multiple smaller assets.
Sunseap said it has just finished a 168 MW solar plant in South Vietnam and has agreed to construct 200 MW of PV systems in China over the next two years. In Taiwan, the company recently installed a 2 MW rooftop system for a cable manufacturer and a 3.3 MW canal-based array as well as other projects in the agricultural sector.
“Taiwan’s energy market is going through a transformational period to become more sustainable, and the time is now for the nation to embrace more green energy,” said Calvin Cheng, co-founder of Pacific Green Energy Co Ltd. “With its high incentives, Taiwan is one of the fastest growing solar markets in Asia. We are confident our joint venture with Sunseap will place us in a competitive position to rapidly deploy, develop and acquire solar projects in Taiwan.”
Taiwan wants to deploy 20 GW of solar capacity by 2025 and by the end of last year had installed only 13% of that target. Last year, a record volume of more than 1 GW was installed raising cumulative installed capacity to more than 2.6 GW. This year, analysts at Taiwanese market research company Trendforce have forecast 1.5 GW more solar despite an announcement by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of FIT cuts of 10.17%.
While the downstream business is flourishing, its once strong manufacturing industry continues to consolidate after China’s 31/5 policy announcement last year, which drove down module and cell prices to levels below the margins where Taiwanese producers can compete. That was followed by the U.S. introducing duties on Far Eastern products to protect its domestic industry. Another blow came when the European Union waved goodbye to minimum import prices for Chinese solar products, meaning they could once again undercut rival Taiwanese goods.
Sunseap recently secured debt financing from Dutch bank ING to develop 50 MW of rooftop installations, mainly in the commercial and industrial sector in Singapore. In its domestic market, the company has more than 250 MW of contracted solar rooftop capacity. Sunseap is active across the region with pipelines in Cambodia, the Philippines, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Australia.