Taiwan reduced the feed-in tariffs for solar power for 2011 contracts by about 30 percent from last year’s level because of the falling cost of installing equipment that converts sunlight into energy.
State-run Taiwan Power Co. will pay NT$7.33 (25 cents) a kilowatt-hour for power generated from ground solar panels, compared with NT$11.12 for 2010, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a statement today. The 2011 price for roof-top solar power is as high as NT$10.32.
Solar cell prices may decline 10 percent to 15 percent this year, said Chang Ping-heng, chief executive officer of Motech Industries Inc., Taiwan’s biggest solar cell maker by market value. Global annual capacity to produce solar cells may climb to as much as 30 gigawatts in 2011, Chang said Dec. 1. The estimate exceeds 2011 global demand projection from technology researcher Isuppli by about 35 percent.
“Solar power costs may fall further,” Hwang Jung-chiou, vice minister of economic affairs, said in a press conference in Taipei today.
The new floor price is NT$2.61 for electricity generated by wind, the ministry said. The government aims to have 100 megawatts of onshore wind power capacity and 70 megawatts of photovoltaic panels installed this year, it said.
Feed-in tariffs, or the prices paid to generators by Taiwan Power, the island’s monopoly grid operator, are at least NT$11.12 per kilowatt-hour for photovoltaic solar panels installed in 2010 and NT$2.38 for wind farms, the Bureau of Energy said in a statement on its website in December 2009. That compared with an average cost of NT$2.06 per kilowatt-hour for fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
Taiwan’s government set feed-in tariffs for electricity generated by solar panels and wind turbines at higher levels than for those for power from fossil fuels to spur production of renewable energy. President Ma Ying-jeou, who took office in May 2008, has pledged to cut emissions to 2000 levels by 2025. Lawmakers approved the island’s Renewable Energy Development Act in 2009.