PV Tech: Industry hopeful about Taiwan’s solar momentum despite FiT cuts

Taiwan’s latest draft for solar feed-in tariffs (FiTs) includes a small reduction for large-scale and residential PV, with bonuses for remote projects and those using high-efficiency modules.

The proposed subsidy reductions for large-scale PV next year should have a minimal impact on the industry, Tom Wang, general manager at inverter supplier LTI RE Energy, told PV Tech.

“The FiT is less than 3% lower,” he said. “I don’t think there is an impact because the reduction is minor. Next year [Taiwan’s] installation capacity will be much higher than this year, especially the large-scale ground-mount projects.”

Matt Tsai, project manager at Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) told PV Tech that the FiTs have continued to be cut due to the lowering costs of building PV projects and equipment this year. However, while Tsai was positive about the FiT mechanism overall, he noted that the frequency and uncertainty of reducing the FiT rate every year have caused some “industry investment concerns”.

Back in October, a Fitch Solutions report also claimed that Taiwan is expected to become one of the fastest-growing solar markets worldwide despite this year’s FiT reductions.

Meanwhile, the purchase rates for biomass, waste, and small hydropower have increased slightly by 1% to 4%, which will continue to encourage the diversified development of renewable energy, according to the Ministry.

Despite the industry not being rocked by the FiT changes, sceptical industry operators warned at Energy Taiwan 2019 (covered in-depth by PV Tech onsite) that Taiwan’s government risks failing to make good on solar growth pledges unless it acts to clear structural hurdles such as land shortages on an already densely packed island.

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