More land restrictions for solar in Taiwan


Taiwan's Ministry of Finance has revealed that it will no longer be possible to deploy solar PV systems on land that is used to produce salt in ecologically sensitive areas throughout Chiayi County and the city of Tainan.

“To give equal consideration to ecological and economic development and create a win-win situation, the important wild bird habitats should be excluded,” the ministry said. “Therefore, the land used for producing salt connected to highly ecologically disputed areas in Chiayi County and Tainan city according to the investigation completed by the Institute shall no longer be provided for solar photovoltaic installations.”

The government added that authorizations that have already been given to PV projects in these areas will now be revoked. It noted that all deposits will be refunded without interest to the affected developers.

Taiwan's Council of Agriculture introduced new restrictions for PV on agricultural land in July. According to Taiwanese market research company TrendForce, these provisions could slow the development of the large-scale PV segment. Under the new regime, projects covering more than 2 hectares will need to be approved by the council, rather than local government entities.

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“The legislative changes made by the Council of Agriculture are now substantially more stringent on PV projects than [in] the past,” TrendForce said in July.

Developers of huge solar parks in Taiwan must continue to deal with resistance from the government, other industrial players, and the farming sector. As in neighboring South Korea, land shortages are a big issue for solar deployment in Taiwan, as roughly two-thirds of the country is mountainous.

The Taiwanese government aims to install 20 GW of solar by 2025, with 3 GW of rooftop PV and 17 GW of ground-mounted capacity.

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