Solar panels are displayed for sale at a market in New Delhi, India.
Source: Associated Press
Solar installations in India suffered a major setback during the second quarter of 2018, as new installations fell 52% from the first quarter of 2018 to 1,599 MW in solar capacity in the period, according to Mercom India Research's Q2 2018 India Solar Market Update.
Year-over-year, solar installations are down 21%, hitting their lowest level since the first quarter of 2017.
"The drop in solar installations in Q2 2018 after four consecutive quarters of growth was expected and can be attributed to uncertainties around trade cases, module price fluctuations and PPA renegotiations after record low bids, which contributed to a slowdown in tenders and auctions in 2017," Raj Prabhu, Mercom Capital Group's CEO and co-founder, said in a Sept. 4 statement. "All of this resulted in a weaker project pipeline for 2018."
Mercom India Research forecasts that there will be about 8,300 MW of solar capacity installed in 2018.
India's solar industry has seen its government go back and forth on whether it will enforce a 25% safeguard duty on solar panel materials from China and Malaysia in order to protect domestic solar manufacturers. Mercom noted that the industry needs clarity on the tariff so companies can understand how it will be imposed.
"Even with the announcement of the pass-through provision, concerns remain and the industry wants a step-by-step implementation plan on paper with proper approvals," the research firm noted.
Ukraine may formally introduce an auction system for wind power by the end of 2018, according to a report from Windpower Monthly.
Sergey Savchuk, head of the Ukrainian State Agency of Energy Efficiency, said the government is considering introducing auctions to attract more investors into the industry. The bill that would propose the tenders would provide state support for projects with more than 20 MW of capacity. Contracts' term lengths would be for 20 years.
An auction system would help Ukraine with its renewable energy ambitions. The Eastern European country, which relies on coal and nuclear for its energy, has set a goal to obtain 11% of its energy mix from renewable sources by 2020. Ukraine is also exploring partnerships with China and United Arab Emirates on joint renewable energy projects.
Tunisia will see the first phase of a 1,700-MW solar energy complex completed over the next two years, as the country aims to reach its target of making renewable sources nearly one-third of its energy mix .
The first, 200-MW phase of the project, which also includes the development of agricultural land along with a grid connection and other infrastructure, will be built between now and 2020. Karim Nefzi, who runs the government's national energy agency, told pv magazine that Tunisia's Ministry of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energies has met with the United Nations Development Program and other local agencies to discuss the project.
Historically, Tunisia has relied almost entirely on fossil fuels to meet its domestic needs. According to the Egypt-based Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, more than 94% of Tunisia's installed energy capacity is hydrocarbon-fired and the country imports most of its energy. The country has initiated a renewable energy strategy to deploy about 4,700 MW of clean energy capacity by 2030. That would boost renewables to 30% of the country's power mix.
* France's recently appointed environment and energy minister, Francois de Rugy, said a national energy road map for the 2020s will come out at the end of October 2018, S&P Global Platts reports.
* Denmark-based Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners K/S has opened an office in New York City.
* Goldwind Australia Pty Ltd is looking to sell its 1,000-MW wind and solar energy portfolio, according to The Australian Financial Review.
* United Kingdom-based Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Ltd. and Tus-Wind are setting up an offshore wind research facility in China.
* Denmark's government is expected to launch its autumn renewable energy tender for state subsidies on Oct. 2, OffshoreWind.biz reports.
S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Platts are owned by S&P Global Inc.
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