While the world’s biggest solar manufacturers are confident there are plenty of alternative markets for a rising volume of panel exports, the message spelled out by first-quarter shipment figures is that protectionism works.
Renewable energy investment in the APAC region, excluding China, will overtake spending on oil and gas exploration and production spending by 2020, finds Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy. And Australia is set to emerge as one of the leading investment destinations.
The world had more than half a terawatt of PV generation capacity at the end of last year as emerging solar markets picked up the slack caused by Beijing’s subsidy about-turn to the tune of a 20% rise in installations outside China.
As India plans to set up large lithium-ion battery plants, the Lithium Triangle countries in South America (comprising Chile, Argentina and Bolivia) have offered to meet India’s growing demand for lithium.
Despite political hurdles in key markets including China, India and Japan, Asia-Pacific 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.
Tata Power Solar has commissioned an 820.8 kWp solar rooftop at the Cricket Club of India (CCI), in Mumbai. It claims it is the world’s largest solar rooftop on a cricket stadium.
In what analysts worldwide are sure to look back on as the last golden period for global solar – at least for the immediate future – China saw more impressive figures for PV manufacturing in the first half of the year. Then the government stepped in.
Greenko Energies will set up India’s largest Integrated Renewable Energy Project (IREP) in Andhra Pradesh at an investment of INR 150 billion (US$2.2 billion). Recently approved by the Andhra Pradesh government, the project will comprise 1,000 MW of solar energy, 550 MW of wind energy and 1,200 MW of standalone pumped storage capacities. It is expected to provide employment to 15,000 people during construction and 3,000 people after construction.
Solar PV capacity is set to grow 17-fold, and wind six-fold, by 2050, to account for nearly half of global electricity generation, predicts BNEF, while investments will reach US$11.5 trillion. Cost reductions will drive this charge, particularly in the battery market, which will benefit from the EV manufacturing ramp up. Despite this, the electricity sector is still failing to bring CO₂ emissions down to the required levels, with its continued dependence on gas.
Longi Solar will set up a 1 GW solar PV manufacturing facility in India’s Andhra Pradesh. It will manufacture 500 MW of cells and 500 MW of modules, a spokesperson tells pv magazine. The facility is expected to be commissioned by Q1 2019 at the latest, and will seek to take advantage of India’s exemption from the recent U.S. solar tariffs, imposed by President Trump last week.
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