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Solar power in the Asia-Pacific

3rd Apr 2013

The Asia-Pacific region seems to be becoming a solar power hot-spot, as an increasing number of countries turn to adopting clean technologies.

It's no secret that Australia is keeping an eye on these developments, as demonstrated by the carbon cutting dialogue held between minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation Greg Combet and H.E. Xie Zhenhua, the vice chairman of China's national development and reform commission last month.

China has been looking to emulate Australia's carbon pricing mechanism, in order to play its part in reducing global emissions and curb its hazardous pollution.

With guidance from Australia, China is planning to pilot a carbon pricing scheme in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, in preparation for a national rollout in 2015.

Mr Combet mentioned the possibility of an Asia-Pacific carbon market in the future, where carbon allocations and restrictions are shared throughout the region, increasing the carbon price's effectiveness and reach.

"This would expand coverage of the carbon market, provide more low-cost abatement opportunities and reduce the possibility of carbon leakage," said Mr Combet.

"China’s openness to the possibility of linking with other emissions trading schemes around the world is further evidence of growing international cooperation on climate change. It will build further momentum towards establishing a robust international carbon market."

Meanwhile as reported by NPD Solarbuzz's report 'Emerging PV Markets: Asia Pacific and Central Asia Report,' demand for solar panels in Asia-Pacific countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan is increasing. It's expected that solar photovoltaic demand will eclipse three GW by 2017.

By 2017 it's predicted that the aforementioned countries will account for 50 per cent of the cumulative PV demand for the region.

Many of the region's nations have plans for solar power and clean energy, such as Indonesia's goal for solar power to provide 0.3 per cent of their nation's energy by 2025 - that's equivalent to 1 GW of new solar demand.

Indonesia has upcoming feed-in tariffs to support its renewable energy, and Taiwan and South Korea have renewable energy targets.

The Philippines have recently developed a 500 MW solar PV pipeline and Bangladesh has the aim of one million solar PV systems by 2016.

NPD Solarbuzz's report predicts that by 2017 the region will account for five per cent of global PV demand, with the potential to reach the six GW mark.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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