Yingli: Australian Solar Market Has Stalled

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Yingli Solar, the world’s largest solar manufacturer, has warned that the utility-scale solar market in Australia is effectively at a standstill, even while the market is growing strongly in the rest of the world.

In a briefing overnight for its second quarter results, Robert Petrina, the Chinese company’s head of international sales, said the review of the renewable energy target in Australia was clearly having an impact.

“In Australia, the federal government is conducting a review of the renewable energy target, which continues to generate headwinds for utility-scale development, leading to uncertainty for investors,” he said.

Because of that, Yingli and the rest of the Australian solar market had to concentrate on the residential and commercial sector – including a 284kw system at Australia Post headquarters, and a series of arrays totaling 1MW on IKEA stores.

But this is in stark contrast to developments elsewhere.

“Since the mid of this year, we have seen substantial pick-up in the demand from new emerging markets such as the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and also traditional markets, especially Japan, US and China,” Petrina said.

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“Our distributed generation PV project will increase significantly in the second half of the year.”

In South Africa, the commercial sector is surging as is the on and off grid market.

The Chinese market is expected to add 10GW in the second half as it aims to reach its ambitious targets for the year.

Shipments to Europe grew by 39 per cent so far this year, with the UK utility-scale project market particularly strong. “The UK market continues to be the rising star of Europe with a growing rooftop segment supported by feed-in-tariffs, but particularly driven by the utility-scale power plant demand,” he said.

Even the German market increased by 20 per cent. Germany, despite changes to its tariffs, retains a target of 2.5GW per annum to reach 52GW by 2020. Yingli will also co-develop 13MW of solar PV projects in Poland.

Source: RenewEconomy. Reproduced with permission.

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Giles Parkinson

is the founding editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, an Australian-based website that provides news and analysis on cleantech, carbon, and climate issues. Giles is based in Sydney and is watching the (slow, but quickening) transformation of Australia's energy grid with great interest.

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