The global solar headlines you need to know this week for your business decisions.
India and Chile Auctions Set Record Low PV Prices
Record low solar prices have been recorded at recent auctions in India and Chile, underscoring the extraordinary gains that large-scale solar has made against its fossil fuel competitors. In both countries, solar is now clearly the cheapest option compared to new coal-fired power stations. In Chile, where the auction was open to all technologies, fossil fuel projects did not win a single megawatt of capacity. The auction produced the lowest ever price for unsubsidized solar – US6.5c/kWh. Meanwhile in India, Sun Edison won the entire 500MW of solar capacity on auction in the state of Andhra Pradesh, quoting a record low tariff for India of INR 4.63/kWh (US7.1c/kWh). Again, this was unsubsidized. Analysts however worry that the financial returns will be small on such low bids.
KfW-storage subsidy program, for battery storage coupled with small PV arrays, at the end of this year, neglecting the recommendation of Germany’s scientific advisory group. Since May 2013, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics has supported the KfW-storage program, to incentivize distributed battery storage. Prices for lead-acid batteries for stationary storage have fallen 11% over the last 12 months and for lithium-ion batteries by 18%. These price reductions are in line with the typical technology learning curve, which posits that with every doubling of production volume, prices fall by between 10-20%.
IHS Forecasts 272GW of New Solar Installs from by 2019
Up to 272.4GW of solar will be added globally between 2016 and 2019, according to new forecasts by research house IHS.
IHS sees solar PV module production going from just under 180GW in Q4 2015, to just under 170GW in Q1 2016, and then climbing to nearly 180GW in Q2. A total of 272.4 GW of solar PV will be installed worldwide over the next three years.
Broken down, 2016 is set to see installations totaling 65GW, while 65.5GW are expected to be installed in 2017; 68.4GW in 2018; and 73.5GW in 2019. For this year, market analysts recently raised their forecasts from 57.3GW to 58.7GW.
IHS says the top five markets will comprise China, the US, Japan, India and the UK. "Strong" PV production and shipments are anticipated in 1H, particularly in China and the US, due to various policy measures, like the expiring US ITC tax credit and installation deadlines. Average selling prices (ASPs) during this period are expected to stay flat at just under US$0.60/Wp. Going into H2, ASPs are forecast to fall.
A 7.8GW decline in annual utility-scale installations will be seen in 2017, although the rest of the market will grow by 11%. It’s important to note that new policy regulations and incentives in other global markets could mitigate some of the forecasted slowing growth in 2017.
Nigeria Signs US$100m Deal for 50MW Solar Plant
Access Infra Africa has signed a US$100 million deal with Nigerian Quaint Global Energy Solutions for the creation of a 50MW solar PV plant in northern Kaduna state, to be partly funded by the US Trade and Development Agency. The ABIBA plant will be located in Kaduna state provided the development partners can negotiate a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. As soon as a PPA is signed, Access Infra Africa will be able to seek financing from banks, topping up the 30% equity it has already pledged as part of the US$100 million development deal. Once completed, the solar farm will be the largest of its kind in Africa outside South Africa, and will supply clean energy to approximately 600,000 local homes.