Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) released this year’s feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme for renewables on January 7. The new scheme shows that both the rates for solar PV and offshore wind have been lowered, with the latter dropping by as much as 8.6%.
Although the MOEA has reduced the rate for solar PV, it has provided markups (incentives) in order to encourage diversification in the development of the domestic solar industry. At the same time, some adjustments have been made to accommodate solar project developers with respect to their schedules and the actual conditions that they are facing when filing FIT applications. Hence, the MOEA has created different project or markup categories in the solar PV section of the FIT scheme. Examples include Green Roofs (rooftop solar projects), regional projects, projects on outlying islands, and projects in aboriginal communities. “Fishery-plus-solar” and “farming-plus-solar” are the new categories that have been added this year. Markups have also been provided for projects that are located in parking lots of service centers along highways.
As in the previous year, the rate for solar PV will step down slightly at the midpoint of this year (i.e., the two-phase implementation of the annual FIT scheme). The rate, of course, varies according to project category and capacity size. In the first half of 2021, the rate will reside in the range of NT$3.79-5.67 (per kWh). In the second half, the rate will fall to NT$3.72-5.62. It should be pointed out that the rate for solar PV was higher in the earlier draft of the 2021 FIT scheme.
Regarding rate calculation, the MOEA has stated that Green Roofs, regional projects, and projects on outlying islands have their own markups and calculation formulas. Besides these, the MOEA has also modified the scheme this year so that other markups are treated as an addition to the fixed rate.
Source: Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs.
As for offshore wind, the 20-year fixed rate has been lowered to NT$4.65 from NT$5.09 last year. The decline therefore has reached as much as 8.6%. The tiered rate, which last year was NT$5.80 for the first decade and NT$3.82 for the second decade, has also been lowered to NT$5.30 and NT$3.52 respectively. The offshore wind section of this year’s FIT scheme is the same in both the draft version and the official (released) version. No changes were made during the drafting process.
Looking at other renewables, the hydropower section has been divided into two categories this year. The division is based on capacity size. The rate for hydropower generation units that are under 2MW is NT$3.1683, whereas the rate for counterparts that are 2MW or larger is the same as last year at NT$2.8599. Likewise, the rate for geothermal power is the same as last year at NT$5.1956. To promote the development of the domestic biomass industry, the MOEA has raised the rate to NT$2.6884 for biomass generation that involves a non-anaerobic digestion process. The rate stays constant at NT$5.1176 for biomass generation that involves an anaerobic digestion process.
According to the supplementary notes that come with this year’s FIT scheme, the effective period has been prolonged by two months for the 2019 and 2020 rates applied to solar projects that were originally scheduled for completion in either one of those two years. This extension is attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the installation of PV systems. However, the solar projects that are under 10MW and were supposed to be completed in 2019 will not receive this benefit. Additionally, certain large-scale solar projects have a six-month extension in their eligibility for the 2019 and 2020 rates because developers of these projects need time to adapt to some recent regulatory changes (such as the new rules on runoffs and outflow control, the latest amendments to the Coastal Zone Management Act, etc.).
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