They are words to chill the soul of solar project owners when uttered in relation to feed-in tariffs: retroactive FIT cuts. A Ukrainian government smarting at the cost of funding an overly successful solar incentive program appears bent on emulating the approach of governments in Spain, Italy and Czechia by reopening signed payment contracts to reset the monies paid for clean power, despite the costly lawsuits that have greeted such moves in the past.
SolarPower Europe has predicted the volume of new PV capacity added this year will be 4% less than last year’s figure because of the Covid-19 crisis. At the end of 2019, the world had topped 630 GW of solar. For 2020, around 112 GW of new PV capacity is expected, and in 2021, newly installed capacity could be 149.9 GW if governments support renewables in their coronavirus economic recovery plans.
The Ukrainian government’s conference rooms have been stuffier than usual lately, as policymakers and renewable energy industry representatives attempted to thrash out a compromise to reduce the financial burden left on the administration by a feed-in tariff incentive regime which drove almost 2 GW of generation capacity. The resulting retroactive cuts to payments, outlined below by Ukraine-based lawyer Svitlana Teush, have at least had input from both sides.
As of November 2019, certain RES producers have been intermittently forced to reduce their output or halt production of electrical energy altogether under the instructions of Ukraine’s transmission system operator, NEC Ukrenergo. DTEK, along with several other large market players led the call for limitations. Many of the country’s RES producers have become alarmed.
The unfolding effects of the Covid-19 crisis, and fears of a possible second wave, have split analysts trying to guess how the unsubsidized renewables market will emerge as slumping demand continued to distort power markets. pv magazine rounds up the week’s coronavirus developments.
Over the past few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented global economic and social crisis all over the globe. Ukraine is no exception. The pandemic has significantly affected all aspects of life, including the country’s domestic energy sector.
Xinyi Solar reported record profits earlier this month, not surprisingly prompting bullish talk of extending its plans to expand production capacity this year and next. However, with PV demand in Europe key to its returns, the company has accepted the coronavirus epidemic may have an impact this year.
The government has suggested PV plant operators accept a ‘voluntary’ 12.5% reduction in feed-in tariffs. If developers refuse, policymakers could impose 15-25% cuts, albeit with payment contracts extended five years. The drastic measures are being considered to reduce the cost of the state-owned Guaranteed Buyer body, which purchases all electricity generated in Ukraine from renewable energy facilities.
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