United Renewable Energy was the result of a troublesome year for Taiwan’s solar manufacturing market. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Asia’s largest independent power producer – Vena Energy – for the supply of modules for projects in Taiwan’s strong development sector.
Global technology giant Google this week announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase the output from a 10 MW PV installation in Tainan City, Taiwan, to power its Changhua County data center on the island’s west coast. The agreement represents Google’s first move to procure renewable energy anywhere in Asia, and the first agreement made since a recent change to Taiwan’s Electricity Act allowed non-utility companies to buy renewable energy directly.
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.
According to EnergyTrend and PV Info Link, the downward spiral of prices along the PV value chain has come to a halt. Nonetheless, by bringing together the two pieces of recent market analysis, regional and value chain variations can be observed.
Taiwan-based Motech Industries Inc. has announced a further reduction of staff. Overall, it plans to let 916 employees go in January. Its survival strategy includes focusing on high efficiency products and serving the local market. To this end, it says it has entered into collaborations with unidentified partners.
Polysilicon and wafer suppliers are still struggling with oversupply and low demand. Tier 1 raw material manufacturers have signed their October orders, but further down the food chain, companies are still waiting for bites. Overall, prices on the cell and module level are in slight decline, although prices for ultra-high efficiency modules have climbed by a small margin, on the back of increased demand.
Despite political hurdles in key markets including China, India and Japan, Asia remains highly active. This year, 59 GW of solar is expected to be installed and due to further system price declines, a phase-out of subsidy schemes can be offset.
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