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Press Releases
Taiwan May Not Complete Its Two-Year Solar Power Promotion Plan but the Domestic Solar Market Expects Continuous Growth, Says TrendForce



The Taiwan government has devised the “Two-year solar power promotion plan” with the aim to increase 152 GW (1,520MW) of grid-connected capacity between July 2016 and June 2018 However, EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce, expects that total grid-connected capacity would be 1,072MW by the end of plan, which means only 71% of the original goal would be achieved According to Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy, the grid-connected capacities of solar energy were 29934MW, 10798MW, and 41466MW respectively in 2H16, 1H17 and 2H17 From July 2016 to the end of 2017, the new grid-connected capacity was 82198MW in total, only about 54% of the original goal In addition, there was no new capacity in January 2018, which means that the remaining capacity of 69802MW needs to be grid-connected between February and June in order to achieve the plan mission The feed-in tariff (FiT) in Taiwan will be slightly reduced since July 1st this year, which will stimulate companies to install and grid-connect the capacity before June 30 “This will also drive the installed capacity during the first half of this year”, says EnergyTrend analyst Rhea Tsao, “directly benefiting the plan” However, based on the production capacity of Taiwanese module makers and development plans of EPC companies, it is difficult to install the remaining 700 MW capacity within five months EnergyTrend estimates the grid-connected capacity at about 250MW in the first half of this year, which will make the total new grid-connected capacity during the two-year plan at about 1,072MW, a fulfillment rate about 71%   Although the mission of Two-year solar power promotion plan may not be reached, the solar market in Taiwan will show stable growth The annual new grid-connected capacity recorded 2483MW, 36081MW, and 52264MW in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively, a total of 1,7677MW With the implementation of new renewable energy laws and regulations, release of new space, laying of feeder, increase of module capacity, and maturing social environment, Tsao believes that the domestic solar market in Taiwan will see prospects in the second half of 2018 at the earliest, and the domestic demand may reach 800~900MW, an annual increase of 53~72% This figure will have a chance to reach 1GW in 2019

Press Releases
TrendForce Forecasts Global Solar Market to Reach Over 106GW in 2018 Due to Strong Momentum from China and Rebounding Demand in Europe



Highlights The size of global solar market reached over 100GW for the first time in 2017, and the demand will increase further to 106GW in 2018 China remains the largest solar market, and the European market will recover China has released new feed-in tariff (FiT) for 2018, cutting subsidies for solar PV systems, which may lead to installation rushes this year    China’s solar market continued its explosive growth in 2017, pushing the size of global solar market to over 100GW for the first time EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce estimates that the worldwide demand will increase further in 2018 to 106GW, but the distribution of demand by region will change According to EnergyTrend’s latest report, China’s annual grid-connected PV capacity reached 5283GW in 2017, the highest one all over the world The US came second place with 12GW The number for Japan was only 609GW, as the result, India, which recorded 926GW, has surpassed Japan and ranked the third With strong momentum from China, the market share of Asia Pacific in global solar market is estimated to hit a new high of 72% in 2017 EnergyTrend analyst Rhea Tsao points out the year 2016 witnessed the highest growth of global solar market, an increase of 425% over the previous year In 2017, the growth rate was 26%, pushing the market size over 100GW for the first time “The growth over the past two years is led by explosive demand in China,” says Tsao China Will See Two Installation Rushes in 2018 Due to Adjustment of FiT, and Europe will enter a recovery phase The Chinese market continues to grow excessively, mainly driven by supportive policy and production capacity expansion In particular, distributed generation (DG) systems, which are currently not subject to the quota of FiT, had an estimated grid connection of 19GW in 2017, more than 4 times of 423GW in 2016 According to recent announcement by the Chinese government, large-scale ground-mounted power plants will face stricter regulations, while DG systems and PV Poverty Alleviation projects will have more room for growth In addition, National Energy Administration (NEA) of China released the new feed-in tariff (FiT) for 2018 at the end of December 2017, and the adjustment will cut subsidies for solar PV systems Ground-mounted projects that are filed before December 31st 2017 and completed before June 30th 2018 will be applicable to the 2017 FiT Projects that are filed after January 1st 2018 and completed grid-connection in 2018 will be applicable to the 2018 FiT Therefore, EnergyTrend forecasts that there will be two installation rushes by June 30th and December 30th 2018 in order to enjoy higher subsidies NEA also announced quota of 5GW for the Top Runner Program, which needs to be grid-connected before December 30th 2018 All of these quotas above will reach 331GW The total annual grid connection, including ground-mounted projects, DG systems, PV Poverty Alleviation projects etc is forecasted to reach 467GW in 2018, a slight decrease Tsao points out that the growth in Chinese market will slow down from 2018 to 2020 However, the European market will enter a recovery phase and become one of the major drivers to keep global solar market size above 100GW Since 3Q18, large-scale ground-mounted power plants in France, the Netherlands and Spain will be completed and connected to the grid In addition, Minimal Import Price (MIP) measurement of EU will end on September 30, 2018, making Europe a highly competitive market since then As for 2018, EnergyTrend estimates the global solar demand to reach 10588GW China will remain the largest market, and the European market will increase Meanwhile, demands will come from different markets in every quarter of 2018, resulting in at least 15GW installations per quarter Moreover, 4Q18 will see substantial demand increase due to the second installation rush in China

Press Releases
Merger of Gintech, NSP and Solartech Will Contribute to Taiwan’s Solar Industry by Speeding Up Vertical Integration and Stimulating Investments, Says TrendForce


Semiconductors / Energy

Taiwan’s three solar companies Gintech, Neo Solar Power (NSP) and Solartech signed an MOU on October 16 announcing their intention to merge as one single corporate entity by the third quarter of 2018 According to EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce, the combined production capacity for photovoltaic (PV) cells of these three companies is projected to reach 5 gigawatts (GW) This estimate not only takes account of their combined 35GW capacity in Taiwan but also their combined 15GW capacity from their facilities located in Mainland China, Thailand and Vietnam The company that resulted from this merger – United Renewable Energy Co, Ltd (UREC) – will not only become the largest solar enterprise in Taiwan but also the world’s fifth-largest cell maker in terms of capacity and second-largest cell suppliers in terms of overseas shipping EnergyTrend analyst Rhea Tsao pointed out that the three companies are different from each other in terms of target markets and product portfolios NSP focuses on high-efficiency products and is shifting to mono-Si PERC and HJT processes Gintech owns two subsidiaries – wafer supplier Utech Solar and module maker Gintung (also known as Apollo Solar Energy Company or ASEC), both of which are strategically important for creating a vertically integrated solar giant As for Solartech, it is the most active among domestic cell makers in deploying and using the multi-Si PERC technology “The foremost advantage from this deal is that the three companies will be able to complement each other,” said Tsao Besides cutting down redundancy in operational and R&D expenses, this merger will allow a more efficient as well as flexible use of capital When negotiating with the material and equipment suppliers in the upstream of the PV supply chain, UREC with its scale will be in a better position With respect to the production capacity for PV modules, Gintech, NSP and Solartech together have around 600 megawatts (MW) Following the merger, the new solar company intends to raise its module capacity to 3GW as part of its vertical integration effort Based on the latest plans made by domestic manufacturers, the module capacity of the entire Taiwanese solar industry is set to expand by more than 5GW Much of the module capacity on the island will be used to supply the high-efficiency segments of the domestic and overseas markets The formation of UREC is a response to the growing competition in the international market The Chinese solar companies in the recent period have made great technological strides and are on their way to catch up to their foreign competitors While the Taiwanese solar industry is still slightly more advanced than the Chinese, it is starving for capital needed to maintain the technological edge As for production capacity, Taiwanese solar companies are simply no match against the Chinese The consolidation of Gintech, NSP and Solartech into a single company will result in improvements related to sales and cost controls Furthermore, the resources of the three companies will be pooled together for the acquisitions of higher-end manufacturing equipment and R&D The newly formed company may also restructure or spin off the various business under its ownership This will reduce redundancy in expenditure planning and reinforce the specific market advantages originally attributed to the three companies Generally, Taiwanese solar companies have the technological expertise to capture market shares in Europe, Japan and the US, where product margins tend to be higher If Taiwanese companies can further optimize cost control and the distribution of production capacity towards particular regional markets, they may be able to rise above their current difficulty in the global market This merger deal is expected to serve as an example to other domestic solar companies as well With guidance and support from the government, UREC can expand into the downstream of the PV supply chain The company can then accumulate experiences as it works on PV power plant projects in the domestic and overseas markets Looking at Taiwan’s solar market, the PV capacity installed on the island during the first half of 2017 totaled just 130MW The Taiwanese government’s official two-year target between mid-2016 and mid-2018 aims to add 152GW to the island’s total capacity However, the installations related to this target in the first year have only reached 394MW The domestic demand was lower than expected The government’s solar policies therefore still require refinement in order to stimulate the cautious domestic market “Going forward, the Taiwanese government will step up the promotion of PV generation via the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program and the amendments to the Electricity Act,” said Tsao “It will also actively support deals similar to this merger as to strengthen the domestic solar industry We expect that Taiwan’s solar market will gradually heat up in 2018, when policies mature and the grid infrastructure is in place”

Press Releases
Strong Chinese Market to Push Annual Global Photovoltaic Demand Above 100 Gigawatts for 2017, Says TrendForce


Consumer Electronics / Energy

China will again take the leading share of the total annual photovoltaic (PV) demand worldwide in 2017, says the latest Gold Member Solar Report by EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce China’s solar demand for this year has surpassed earlier expectations due to the surging installations of distributed PV systems With China’s contribution, the annual global PV demand is also projected to cross the 100-gigawatt mark for the first time in 2017, coming to a 1004 gigawatts Compared with 2016, this year’s global PV demand will advance by about 26% As the Chinese government continues to support its domestic solar sector, the annual global PV demand is expected to top 100 gigawatts through to 2019 Booming China to represent nearly half of the 2017 global market EnergyTrend analyst Rhea Tsao pointed out that China’s PV demand for this year has been far ahead of expectations The country’s cumulative grid-connected system installations for the first eight months of 2017 is estimated to have reached 39 gigawatts “Going forward, the Chinese market during this year’s remaining four months will be influenced by the completion of projects related to the second phase of the Top Runner Program and the first phase of the PV Poverty Alleviation Project,” said Tsao “At the same time, the market is also being affected by rumors that the Chinese government will cut feed-in tariff (FIT) rates for distributed PV systems at the start of 2018 This prospect will likely trigger another wave of urgency to complete installations in the short term” According to EnergyTrend, China’s distributed system installations (including those related to the PV Poverty Alleviation Project) are expected to come to 22 gigawatts this year The country’s total installed capacity for 2017 is estimated around 48 gigawatts, while its cumulative installed capacity is projected to reach 12542 gigawatts by the end of the year This July, China’s National Energy Administration revised the country’s installed capacity target under the 13th Five-Year Plan, earmarked a total of 865 gigawatts for the period from 2017 to 2020 Though the Five-Year Plan is mainly to support the building of ground-mounted PV plants, distributed PV systems, including those under the PV Poverty Alleviation Project, have also benefitted in terms of subsidy and grid connection precedence Hence, the outlook is bright for China’s distributed PV system market, with annual demand reaching the 15-gigawatt level from 2018 to 2020 By the end of 2020, China’s cumulative installed capacity is forecast to total around 250 gigawatts Annual PV demand in the US to retreat 15% this year, but Suniva’s petition is generating uncertainty-driven demand The strong Chinese market will propel the global annual PV demand to 1004 gigawatts this year – a new historical high EnergyTrend’s ranking of the top regional markets by the share in the global demand shows that China will remain the leader US follows in second place with its annual demand reaching 125 gigawatts this year India’s annual demand for 2017 is estimated around 10 gigawatts, making the country the third largest market Japan is expected to take fourth place with an annual demand of 68 gigawatts Together, the top four regional markets are going represent more than 75% of this year’s global demand The US solar market has undergone adjustments during 2017 in response to the extension of the Investment Tax Credit, and the country’s annual PV demand is projected to fall by about 15% from the 2016 level For now, the outlook of the US market for 2018 is very uncertain because the country’s International Trade Commission may affirm Suniva’s petition and recommend relief from all solar imports under Section 201 of the 1974 Trade Act Annual PV demand in the US for 2018 could range from a low of 55 gigawatts to a high of around 10 gigawatts India has formally surpassed Japan as the world’s third largest market this year and is expected to see steady increases in its annual PV demand While Japan has dropped to the fourth place in the regional market ranking, the changes in its FIT scheme will keep its PV demand stable Under the revised FIT scheme, which took effect at the start of Japan’s fiscal year of 2017 (April 2017), PV projects must complete grid connection before the end of the fiscal 2019 in order to be eligible for FIT There are currently around 20 gigawatts of projects around Japan that need to be connected to the grid within these three fiscal years Tsao added that China has made Asia the priority focus of the solar industry Furthermore, the PV supply chain has gained significantly this year on account of the strong Chinese demand and the uncertainty resulted from Suniva’s petition For the remainder of 2017, the solar market will enter its least active period in the third quarter Stock-up activities will slow down a bit from the end of September to the middle of October Nonetheless, demand across the supply chain will generally be above average despite the seasonal headwinds to the end of the year

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