Chinese Solar Stocks Climbs as China Plans to Increase its Solar Power Capacity
Chinese solar stocks led the benchmark index of U.S. traded shares this week on prospects that domestic demand for alternative energy will rise after the government increased capacity targets. China, the world’s biggest supplier of solar power panels, plans to add 10GW of solar power capacity this year, more than double its current level, the National Energy Administration said in a statement on its website on Jan. 8. LDK Solar Co. and Trina are the biggest gainers this year, after the government approved subsidies for rooftop solar installations and initiated a second round of assistance to more than 100 solar developers.
Green Light for Chile’s 3.1 GW Solar Projects
The Centro de Energías Renovables, or Renewable Energy Center, in Chile reports that over 3.1 GW of solar energy projects were approved in 2012 through November, and another 908 MW were in qualification and are awaiting approval. Chile is seen as one of front runners in the emerging Latin American market for renewable energy, particularly solar PV, thanks to a combination of net metering, Renewable Portfolio Standards, and other policies. As testament to its confidence to the Chillean market, First Solar has just acquired Chilean project developer Solar Chile, which has various utility-scale projects totaling 1.5 GW in northern Chile, including the planet’s highest solar irradiated region, the Atacama Desert.
Good News for Solar in New York
Governor Andrew Cuomo made some significant proposals that are welcome news to Green Energy supporters in New York. The Governor called for a major expansion of his NY-Sun Initiative, which calls for doubling solar installations in 2012 and quadrupling in 2013. However, since the program was too small, it fell short of accomplishing the job of market transformation. This year, the Governor announced a long-term commitment to NY-Sun, expanding the program into a 10 year, $150 million/year program. If implemented correctly, the Governor’s long-term commitment to NY-Sun can build a robust and sustainable industry that will deliver solar energy cheaper than power from the grid.
Estonia To Reverse Pledge on Wind Subsidy Cap, Economy Minister Says
Estonia will keep an annual cap on the volume of wind energy eligible for subsidies, reversing a pledge to lower power costs and limit the amount of subsidized output, Economy Minister Juhan Parts said. Wind energy subsidies will be capped at the current total output of 600 gigawatts per year in the amended electricity market legislation under consideration in Parliament. The renewable energy subsidies, paid for by consumers through their energy bills, will be linked to the market price of electricity and decline 15 percent to 20 percent once the new system is adopted and gets clearance for state aid from the European Commission. Total savings for consumers is estimated to be as much as 300 million euros until 2020.