Mon, Oct 21, 2019 - Page 16 News List

SEMI committee issues Taiwan solar recommendations

By Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

The PV Public Advocacy Committee, which is under the Taiwan branch of global industry association SEMI, last week released its policy recommendations for solar photovoltaic development in the nation, focusing on feed-in tariff (FIT) calculation for renewable energy sources and related policies, the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday.

The committee’s policy recommendations urged a more transparent and consistent approach for the government’s FIT rate calculation and more education on solar photovoltaics, the Liberty Times reported.

The government should consider increasing tax incentives to attract investment in the solar energy sector, while agencies should adjust policies to facilitate a smooth transition for Taiwan’s energy transformation, the committee said.

The suggestions were made at the three-day Energy Taiwan trade show at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center from Wednesday to Friday last week.

Taiwan aims to generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025, with about 20 gigawatts (GW) to be generated from solar sources, 5.5GW from offshore wind and 1.5GW by hydroelectric, onshore wind and other renewable sources.

Based on a survey released by the committee, up to 78.4 percent of respondents supported accelerated development of photovoltaic energy in Taiwan, while 80 percent agreed that solar panels should be erected on idle land or shared spaces.

About 30 percent said they had heard that solar panels are toxic, while 70 percent said they did not know that solar panels are actually non-toxic, the survey showed.

More than 90 percent said they knew nothing about the government’s recycling mechanism for solar panels, the committee said, calling for more to be done to educate people.

Meanwhile, domestic solar energy investment has slowed significantly this year, Financial Supervisory Commission statistics showed.

In the first half of this year, solar energy investment only increased by NT$366 billion (US$11.96 billion) from the second half of last year, including NT$300 billion in new loans and NT$66 billion in new bond issuances, while local insurance companies did not add new investment in the renewable energy sector in the first six months of this year, commission data showed.

The commission has encouraged insurance companies to invest in green energy through private-equity funds, venture capital firms and investment management companies. As of the end of last year, seven insurers had invested NT$9.8 billion in eight solar power plants, data showed.

The SEMI committee said the stalled investment reflects the difficulty of obtaining financing for local solar power businesses, as well as the complexities of assessing construction requirements, investment returns and business risks for the sector, and the government needs to address these issues with necessary policies, the Liberty Times reported.

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