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China leads the world in solar power installations

Lucas Mearian | Dec. 7, 2016
Lower taxes for solar power continues to drive market expansion globally, report says

FiTs are long-term renewable energy contracts that guarantee a lower cost for energy compared to purchasing power produced by more traditional methods, such as coal-fired power plants.

"In China, the National Development and Reform Commission has set a benchmark on the on-grid solar PV power tariff [reductions]," Mathur said, which has seen rates decrease dramatically over 2015.

In India, solar power tariff rates decreased to a record low of INR4.34 ($0.064) per kilowatt hour (kWh). Solar panel efficiency, together with lower silicon costs, is decreasing the system cost, and the capacity utilization factor in solar PV has been increasing, according to Mathur.

"The country's solar PV sector is benefiting from growing policy and political support," he said.

Italy is expected to take fifth place in 2016 with a cumulative installed solar PV capacity of 19.16 GW. The country's annual solar PV installations will experience low installation rates compared to previous years due to a subsidy cut, Mathur said.

"The Italian PV market is expected to survive even with no subsidies for its new solar PV installations, driven by small-scale installations of less than 200KW for which the government offers a net metering scheme," Mathur said.

Net metering is the ability for homeowners and businesses to sell surplus power generated from solar panels back to utilities.

 

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