First Solar Aussie future in doubt

The projects will use First Solar modules

The projects will use First Solar modules

US thin-film PV giant First Solar said up to A$110m ($103m) of future projects in Australia are in doubt because of policy uncertainty in the country.

First Solar is building two utility-scale solar plants in the Australian state of New South Wales with utility AGL, including the 102MW Nyngan facility, which will be the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere when it is finished by mid-2015.

But First Solar vice president for business development Jack Curtis told Recharge that the future beyond those developments is unclear, because of factors such as a review of the country’s ambitious Renewable Energy Target (RET).

“The current uncertainty in the Australian renewable energy policy landscape has caused a number of current renewable developments to be put on hold, in addition to potentially creating a question mark on future developments,” Curtis said.

“The $110m number relates to solar projects that First Solar is aware of,” he added.

Curtis’s comments are an abrupt reverse from First Solar’s position of mid-2012, when the company’s CEO identified Australia as a utility-scale PV market ripe for “take off”.

Last month a panel to review Australia’s RET was announced that will report to the country’s government by the middle of the year.

Currently the RET mandates that 20% of Australia’s power should come from renewables by 2020, with a 41TWh annual generation goal from large scale renewable sources, but critics within the ruling Coalition government want to see the target watered down or even scrapped.

The uncertainty has also led to warnings from the wind sector that development is being hampered.

Mainstream switches strategy

01 September 2014 12:29 GMT

Shunfeng snaps up Solarstrom

01 September 2014 10:13 GMT

IN DEPTH: The yieldco effect

01 September 2014 09:17 GMT

Sonnedix nabs first Japan PV funds

01 September 2014 04:49 GMT

Chairman Peng out at LDK Solar

29 August 2014 10:34 GMT

China sales fail to help SolarOne

28 August 2014 02:04 GMT

US backs 300MW Myanmar solar

28 August 2014 01:05 GMT

Hareon unveils 600MW solar plan

28 August 2014 05:39 GMT

RET plan to 'smash investment'

28 August 2014 10:08 GMT

IEA warns of RE headwinds

28 August 2014 07:33 GMT

Kepco may build Korea-Japan cable

28 August 2014 06:22 GMT

NY governor weighs RE tax break

27 August 2014 10:48 GMT

OneRoof seals $58m solar fund

27 August 2014 02:16 GMT

Become a Recharge subscriber!

Or try our free trial.

Order Subscription

Already a member?


Recharge Monthly Magazine