THE FRIDAY NOTE: Mexico, C America to add 1 GW of 2014 wind and the rest of the week's top picks
Aug 15, 2014 - In the past week BNEF forecast 1 GW of wind installations in Mexico and Central America in 2014, the Italian Parliament okayed retroactive solar FiT cuts and China said it will halt polysilicon imports from September 1.
With 1 GW of fresh wind power capacity this year Mexico and Central America are to become regional leaders in clean energy investment, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said on Monday. The expansion in the wind segment will be even greater in 2015 and 2016 with 1.3 GW of installations in each of the two years.
In terms of clean energy investment, Mexico attracted USD 1.3 billion (EUR 972m) in the first half of 2014 and can hit USD 2.4 billion for the full year, BNEF calculates.
Moving a bit to the north, the Industrial Siting Council of Wyoming last week gave the green light to a 3-GW wind project in the US state proposed by the Power Company of Wyoming LLC. The Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind complex, worth USD 5 billion, will be built on private and federal land in Carbon County. It will comprise up to 1,000 turbines.
VATTENFALL, SWM TO POUR EUR 1.2BN IN 288-MW WIND FARM
In Europe, the week started with the news that Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall AB and German utility Stadtwerke Muenchen (SWM) will invest some USD 1.6 billion to build the 288-MW Sandbank offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. The park will comprise 72 pieces of 4-MW turbines made by German group Siemens AG (ETR:SIE). Construction of the wind farm will commence in the summer of 2015 while commissioning is expected at end-2016.
ITALIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES RETROACTIVE SOLAR FIT CUTS
There were some bad news on the European solar front as the Italian Parliament and Senate late on Thursday approved a decree that reduces solar feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for operational plants of over 200 kW and changes the way payments are being made throughout the year. New Energy Projects, a Munich-based firm focused on Italy, said that over 50 large solar park operators are demanding that the European Commission (EC) investigate whether the changes are not in breach of the directive on the promotion of renewables.
CHINA TO STOP IMPORTS OF SOLAR POLYSILICON FROM US, EU, KOREA
Yesterday the Chinese commerce ministry announced that the country will block processed polysilicon imports from September 1, due to a rise in shipments from South Korea, the USA and Europe. The decision brings additional pressure in the expanding trade conflict within the solar industry. Just a few days ago, media reports said that the European Union (EU) may launch a new probe in order to determine whether panel makers from China are circumventing the import duties the bloc imposed last year.
Remaining on the Chinese solar wave, local PV maker JinkoSolar Holding Co Ltd (NYSE:JKS) said Wednesday it will develop a 500-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in the Zhejiang Province's Lishui City. The USD-813-million facility is to be constructed over five years.
Moving to the marine renewables sector for the Friday Note’s finale, BNEF on Thursday cut its forecast for 2020 tidal and wave energy installations in view of the tough sector environment. It now expects the total global tidal stream capacity to amount to 148 MW at the end of the decade, down by 11% on the previous projections. It slashed its wave power capacity guidance for the same period by 72% to 21 MW.