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Taiwan Plans Fast Solar Buildup While Cambodia Records Lowest-Ever Price for Southeast Asia

Schwnj/Wikimedia Commons

Anticipating some US$7.5 billion in investment to accrue from the decision, Taiwan Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang announced plans in late September to ramp up his country’s solar deployment to 6.5 gigawatts by 2020.

Since hitting the solar big leagues a year ago with a gigawatt of generating capacity, most of it in floating solar, Taiwan reached a threshold of 2.8 GW by the end of 2018, with plans to add 1.5 GW by the end of 2019 and another 2.2 GW before 2021, reports [1] the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

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The accelerated deployment will be driven by a two-year Solar PV Promotion Plan, an extension of a program launched in 2016. IEEFA says the country projects that “PV installations will reach 20 GW in 2025, with three GW from rooftop PV and 17 GW in ground-mounted systems.”

The Taiwanese announcement came two weeks after the winning bid on an auction to build 60 MW of solar in Cambodia produced “the lowest power price ever recorded in Southeast Asia,” IEEFA states [3] in a separate report. Edging out 25 other contenders, Thailand’s Prime Road Alternative Co. Ltd will produce power at 3.877¢ per kilowatt-hour. The project will be part of a 100-MW national solar park launched in the central province of Kampong Chhnang in 2017 with support from the Asian Development Bank, which celebrated the historic low bid as good news for Cambodians, and for the future of solar power generation.

Long dependent on hydropower, Cambodia is beginning to development its solar potential in earnest, IEEFA reports, with assistance from countries like China and Singapore as well as institutions like the ADB.