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© saniphoto dreamstime.com Electronics Production | October 03, 2012

Recent developments jeopardize Taiwanese solar firms’ future

Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs held a hearing regarding the 2013 feed-in tariff (FIT) on October 1. According to the Bureau of Energy, the first period’s FIT in 2013 will fall between 9.23% and 12.63%, whereas the second period’s is between 1.9% and 5.62%.
Related companies noted that FIT of solar roof system with capacity above 100kW and ground-mounted solar system fell below NT$7/kWh. Given the annual discount rate, loan rate, and feedback policy, this will be a threat to Taiwanese firms’ development in the PV sector.

According to EnergyTrend, the green energy research division of TrendForce, the solar system exists as a part of the power industry. Whether or not a project can be carried out depends on the amount of fund raised and the relation with other companies; factors such as power plant arrangement, establishment and operation come second.

For most Taiwanese solar firms, few had experience in concrete planning and construction of 1MW (and above) projects. Moreover, under the influence of government policy, most companies opt to focus on 100kW and 500kW roof system, and only a few choose to invest in the ground-mounted system with longer investment return periods.

Affected by the stagnant economic outlook and concerns over investment, Taiwanese manufacturers will have trouble raising enough funds if they do not have partners with good credit. According to EnergyTrend, despite strong interest from Taiwanese banks, restricted by relevant laws and limited global offices , most banks choose to cooperate with foreign firms in project development, and are unable to provide attractive financial incentives for local solar manufacturers and developers.

With the Chinese National Day public holidays and many solar conventions underway, spot market trades have been slow, so the spot prices only saw minor adjustments. Solar inverter prices, on the other hand, saw more prominent adjustments. Polysilicon spot prices stayed flat, with ASP falling slightly to $18.73/kg, a 0.21% decrease.

For multi-Si wafers, due to the ongoing holiday and the production downsizing, multi-Si wafer ASP slide to $0.953/piece, down by 0.1%. For mono-Si wafers, ASP fell by 0.67% to $1.187/piece. Solar cell prices stayed flat. For solar module, the market remained slow, with ASP dropping to $0.67/Watt, a 0.3% drop. For solar inverter, due to the weakened demand and intensifying competition, ASP decline by 2.23% to $0.219/Watt.

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