Taipei, Thursday, October 2, 2014 06:05 (GMT+8)
partly cloudy
Taipei
25°C
Commentary: Taiwan has little interest in installing PV systems on its own land
Jackie Chang, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Friday 20 April 2012]

The Taiwan government recently announced a plan to increase electricity prices in May 2012. Compared to a country like Germany with average electricity price of NT$8/kWh, Taiwan's average electricity price of NT$2.67/kWh seems low. Also, the Taiwan government's aim to have solar PV installations of 3.1GW by 2030 is also quite low. In another words, in 18 years, Taiwan plans to add 3.1GW of solar PV system installations, while Germany added 3GW of new solar PV system installations in December 2011 alone. The goal seems a bit lazy on the government part as Taiwan is one of the major countries that produce solar wafers and cells.

Taiwan has a population around 23 million people and land about 35,000 square kilometers. Within this small area, Taiwan has three running nuclear power plants in addition to traditional power generating facilities. In addition to the low electricity price and lack of effort from the government to promote solar PV system installations, residential conditions, high interest rates on loans, and lack of education on solar PV knowledge are likely to prevent people in Taiwan switching to solar power.

Many of the people in Taiwan live in apartment buildings, such as those in New Taipei, the most populous city of the nation. This means they do not have their own roofs. For a household that wants to use solar PV systems, it may need to obtain permission from the building committee or most of its neighbors in the same building to use the rooftop for solar PV system installations. The trouble of going through this permission seeking process is often a deterrent.

In many parts of Taiwan, such as New Taipei's neighboring port city, Keelung, weather conditions form another deterrent. Keelung has the lowest sunshine hours in Taiwan. This means it may not be profitable for households to install solar PV systems despite the high feed-in-tariff rate of NT$7.30-9.50/kWh.

Most importantly, Taiwan's financial institutions do not have special interest rates for solar PV system installations. The government currently provides special loans for banks to finance large-size solar PV system installations and the return of investment on solar PV systems is about 5.25%. But for individual systems, which are more suitable for people living in the cities, the interest rate of the loan is about 4.08%. The interest rate plus processing fee of 2.5% charged by the banks, this investment will incur losses.

According to Chihheng Liang, author of Digitimes Research's new report "PV 2012 - Expectations for the global solar market," customers that want to install solar PV systems need to pay all fees for the next 20 years in one payment. This means customers need to make sure the buildings they live in will last at least 20 years. The most urgent problem is that people in Taiwan do not have enough knowledge about solar PV systems.

Gintech solar cell

Lack of encouragement from government results in low solar PV installations in Taiwan
Photo: Digitimes file photo

Realtime news
  • Percentage of 5.5-inch smartphone panels shipped to China increasing

    Displays | 7h 25min ago

  • Touch panel makers see shipments for thin-film touch panels increase

    Displays | 9h 15min ago

  • Mobile payment company Alliance Digital Tech to come online by year-end 2014

    Before Going to Press | 7h 37min ago

  • Leadtek unveils wearable device for healthcare

    Before Going to Press | 7h 37min ago

  • BLU makers Forhouse, BriView complete merger

    Before Going to Press | 8h 34min ago

  • Japan Patent Office to cut examination process to 5 months

    Before Going to Press | 8h 35min ago

  • Digitimes Research: Spotify to affect Japan Internet music service industry

    Before Going to Press | 8h 43min ago

  • iPhone 6 Plus to account for 60% of total iPhone 6 device shipments

    Before Going to Press | 8h 44min ago

  • Digitimes Research: ARM Mali to become mainstream GPU architecture for China APs in 2H14

    Before Going to Press | 8h 59min ago

  • Quanta Changshu plants preparing for Apple Watch mass production

    Before Going to Press | 9h 31min ago

  • Leadframe maker Jih Lin to post EPS of NT$3 in 2014

    Before Going to Press | 9h 41min ago

  • New Wintel platforms may impact 4Q14 PC demand

    Before Going to Press | 9h 47min ago

  • ARM to set up IoT business unit

    Before Going to Press | 9h 48min ago

  • Taiwan market: Chunghwa Telecom to launch NFC mobile payment services

    Before Going to Press | 10h 6min ago

  • Windows 10 expected to have limited effect on boosting notebook demand

    Before Going to Press | 10h 10min ago

  • Samsung to host Tizen developer conference in China

    Before Going to Press | 10h 14min ago

Pause
 | 
View more
ADVANTEST CORPORATION
DIGITIMES Marketing Services
DIGITIMES Translation Services
  • 2014 global high brightness LED market, trends and shipment forecast

    For the global LED lighting market, the market size will reach US$25.82 billion in 2014 or a market penetration rate of 23.4%. This is attributable to exponential shipment growth for light bulbs, tubes, and directional lamps.

  • Greater China touch panel shipment forecast through 2015

    This Special Report provides forecasts through 2015 for Greater China touch panel shipments with breakdowns based on technology (glass, film, resistive), application (smartphone, NB and tablet) and by firm.

  • 2014 global tablet demand forecast

    This report analyzes the main players, their strategies and shipments forecasts for 2014, as well as other factors contributing to either growth or decline in various segments within the tablet market, with a particular focus on Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft, along with whitebox vendors.