The concept of revamping and repowering is one of the newest terms in the solar industry. As the installed base of PV systems ages, the concept of upgrading and improving operating plants becomes increasingly relevant to both manufacturers and PV plant asset managers. However, the real market size for new PV components in existing plants will depend on the characteristics of each plant, the overall regulatory framework and the economic benefits that will accrue to asset managers.
A new era in the Chinese energy transition is on the menu and renewables are the order of the day, according to the latest China Renewable Energy Outlook (CREO). China will not require a gas bridge between coal and renewables, it finds, adding that renewables will become the core of the nation’s energy system by 2050, with annual PV installs of between 80-160 GW possible. Not only that, but electricity supply could be cheaper in this future than it is today.
In light of the massive Renewable Energy Development Fund deficit, China is looking for new ways to support the further deployment of renewables. German Energy Agency, Dena has prepared a new report, detailing how the country can move away from FITs to a more sustainable financing framework. Overall, it points to the increasing importance of auctions; and discusses how the right policy design can improve the cost competitiveness of renewable energies.
The Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has announced a 10.17% decrease to next year’s feed-in tariff (FIT) rates for solar PV installations, which is much higher than the average decrease of 4.25% in the global PV industry. This will make 2019 a tough year for Taiwan’s PV industry, with wider-than-expected impacts on the whole market.
SMA Solar technology AG has announced that around 425 full time jobs or 12.8% of its global workforce will be lost as part of its restructuring efforts. The PV inverter manufacturer will also discontinue operations in China, preferring to refocus its efforts on Germany.
Politicians take note: “The energy transition is not a question of technical feasibility or economic viability, but one of political will.” Indeed, according to a new study, it is possible to rapidly transition to a Europe 100% powered by renewables and with zero greenhouse gas emissions. Solar PV leads the charge, followed by wind. Overall, eight policy recommendations have been laid out to achieve this bold goal by 2050.
Another German car manufacturer has announced ambitious electric vehicle plans. Daimler AG says it has invested €20 billion in the purchase of battery cells to further advance its electric fleet.
The government regulator for gas and electricity markets in the United Kingdom has released updated guidance clearing up the confusion surrounding the installation of storage at households exporting solar to the grid. More still needs to be done though, argues the Solar Trade Association.
A total of 414 investors managing US$32 trillion in assets have called on the world’s policy makers to take action against climate change. It has been called the “single largest policy intervention” of its kind.
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