Taiwan wants 3.7 GW of new solar by 2021

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Taiwanese prime minister Su Tseng-chang announced at yesterday’s cabinet meeting the government expects around 3.7 GW of new solar generation capacity before 2021.

The ramped up deployment is being planned under a two-year Solar PV Promotion Plan for this year and next which is an extension of the 2017-2018 strategy launched in 2016.

“The plan calls for increasing solar energy’s contribution to the nation’s generating capacity to 6.5 GW by 2020,” Tseng-chang said in an official statement. Taiwan had installed PV capacity of 2.8 GW at the end of last year, the government said. The authorities are planning for 1.5 GW of new solar to be deployed this year and 2.2 GW in 2020.

Investment hope

The government expects benefits of NT$222 billion (US$7.5 billion) in investment and business opportunities from the new two-year extension of the program, said the prime minister. The premier also cited the recent long-term power purchase agreement signed by Google with several Taiwanese energy companies for power generated by a 10 MW solar array. “As can be seen from these developments, Taiwan’s solar power program contributes tangibly to domestic electricity supply and has earned recognition from the international community for its long-term green energy industry efforts,” Tseng-chang added.

Government plans project PV installations will reach 20 GW in 2025, with 3 GW from rooftop PV and 17 GW in ground-mounted systems.

Last year Taiwan became a gigawatt solar market for the first time as its PV generation capacity rose more than 1 GW, according to market research company TrendForce. The analyst, however, said in April that this year could be a difficult one for solar in Taiwan, due to feed-in tariff (FIT) cuts announced by the government.

Yesterday’s statement made no mention of the FIT payments to be applied this year and next.