Solar Latest News Round-Up Issue 27

This issue covers:

Solar PV growth plans in China

The Chinese Bureau of Energy has released a draft of the proposed new solar power installations for China in 2014. Under this proposal, new solar installations in China are expected to reach 12 GW in 2014 . This includes 8 GW of distributed PV generation and 4 GW in the ground-mount segment.

Jiangsu Province is expected to have the leading market share with 1.3 GW of quotas in the pipeline. This is followed by Shandong Province (1.2 GW) and Zhejiang Province (1.1 GW). Other provinces in the top ten quota list include: Hebei, Guangdong, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Henan and Gansu.

The release of the quotas for 2014 is intended to provide confidence to project developers in the Chinese solar PV market, and reflects the positive attitude of the Bureau of Energy towards the rooftop segment.

The Bureau of Energy has also explained that the allocation to the ground-mount segment could be adjusted, based on the progress of PV installations in 2014. While the ground-mount segment will continue to dominate the Chinese solar PV market during 2014, distributed generation applications will also continue to increase.

The increase in solar PV demand from China is anticipated to drive the total Asia Pacific (APAC) baseline forecast to 24 GW for 2014, with an upside as high as 32 GW. Similar to 2013, China is again forecast to be the largest country for solar PV demand next year. More at Solarbuzz.com

STA welcomes UK solar milestone

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) figures for UK solar PV installations figures show that the domestic market has hit 1.3GW.

Around 460,000 UK homes are now fitted with a solar array, with an average of 7.8MW being installed every week since September in the 0-4kW sector.

The Solar Trade Association has welcomed the milestone, noting that nearly half a million homes are less exposed to large and unpredictable energy bill increases.

STA CEO Paul Barwell explained: "Nearly half a million UK homes are now much less exposed to frustrating energy bill rises because they have chosen to go solar. It's a particularly clever choice right now because the returns are excellent. People who are fed up with their energy supplier could do no better than to switch to supplying themselves with solar power on their roof.”

The STA holds an ambition of seeing one million solar roofs installed in the UK by 2015. In order to hit that ambition the domestic sector would have to double installation rates.

To help spur the growth, the STA is developing its own online platform called YourRoof.Info. The website is designed to provide the public with independent advice from experts and includes a calculator tool that allows householders to estimate their returns from investing in solar. More details at www.solar-trade.org.uk

More stable European solar PV market

The UK is set to become the largest solar market in Europe for the first time during the first quarter of 2014. Market estimates say that the combination of predictable feed-in tariff rates and the rush to complete larger projects ahead of the cuts in the Renewable Obligation Certificate, in the second quarter, will help the UK to take top spot.

However, the honour is expected to be short-lived with Germany expected to regain the number one ranking by the end of 2014.

Reports also say that the downturn in the European solar PV industry has now bottomed out, with the quarterly demand volatility of the past soon to be replaced by more stable end-market dynamics.

It is predicted that the UK, along with Germany, Italy and France will help European solar demand to stabilise in the coming period. More at www.solarpowerportal.co.uk.

US renewables contribution continues to grow

The latest "Energy Infrastructure Update" report from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects, says that solar, biomass, and wind "units" provided 694 MW of new electrical generating capacity during October, representing 99.3% of all new generation placed in-service (the balance of 5 MW was provided by oil.).

Twelve new solar units accounted for 504 MW or 72.1% of all new electrical generating capacity during the month followed by four biomass units (124 MW - 17.7%) and two wind units (66 MW - 9.4%).

For the first ten months of 2013, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) have accounted for nearly a third (32.8%) of all new electrical generating capacity.

That is more than that provided thus far this year by coal (1,543 MW - 12.5%), oil (36 MW - 0.3%), and nuclear power (0 MW - 0.0%) combined.

Solar PV alone comprises 20.5% of new generating capacity (2,528 MW) thus far this year - more than doubling its 2012 total (1,257 MW). However, natural gas has dominated 2013 thus far with 6,625 MW of new capacity (53.7%).

Renewable sources now account for nearly 16% of total installed US operating generating capacity: water - 8.30%, wind - 5.21%, biomass - 1.32%, solar - 0.59%, and geothermal steam - 0.33%. This is more than nuclear (9.22%) and oil (4.06%) combined. More at www.solardaily.com

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