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Asia Report: As EU Trade Case Looms, Market Could Shift East

Rumors are swirling that a trade complaint against Chinese solar manufacturers will be filed in the European Union, and that the announcement could land during the massive Intersolar Europe event that started on Monday in Munich, Germany.

The industry has been anticipating such a move since SolarWorld’s American unit filed a trade case in October. Since then, company executives at the German headquarters have indicated that they were speaking to other European-based manufacturers about a potential investigation.

Chinese products imported into the United States are already being hit with both countervailing duties and anti-dumping tariffs in a series of rulings that have sparked fears of a U.S.-China trade war. A similar move in Europe, which remains a far larger market despite its recent downshift in policy, would have far greater implications for Chinese manufacturers already suffering from overcapacity and shifting markets.

One solution could be in the acceleration of the nation’s domestic market. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, China’s panel makers are ramping up production to serve their home market, which is expected to double this year. Led by Suntech and Yingli, the nation’s five largest makers of polysilicon solar panels could boost production by as much as 37 percent as the market shifts away from Europe and toward Asia.


IN THE NEWS

India’s Assam State Planning Massive Small Hydro Expansion: A partnership between the Assam Power Project Development Company Ltd. and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. could create as many as 149 new small hydropower projects, Indian sources report.

Vestas Grabs 48 MW in China: Vestas has won a second order from Chinese developer Longyuan to supply and install 24 its 2-MW turbines. The 48 MW of generators are heading to the Hanjiang Baihe wind park in Putian County, Fujian, where Vestas will supply a three-year service and maintenance agreement.

China Firm Launches Slashed IPO: China diversified clean-energy firm Huadian Fuxin Energy Corp has cut the size of its planned Hong Kong initial public offering by nearly two-thirds to $340 million, underscoring a weak global economic environment and tepid demand for new listings.

Suzlon Gets More Time to Repay Foreign Bonds: Suzlon Energy said bondholders have agreed to give the company 45 days more to repay foreign currency bonds maturing in June.

Another Indian State Planning 500-MW Solar Park: Southern Indian state of Karnataka is planning to set up a 500-MW solar park. Several states in India are now looking to set up large solar energy parks. Apart from the success in Gujarat, the obligation to meet renewable purchase standards is another key reason to set up such projects.

India Hydro Plans: The Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation said 45 hydro power projects in the state to be implemented will take the combined capacity generation to 8,000 MW over the next 10 years.

Taiwan Cell Makers Report Mixed Revenue: Rush orders from Europe before the old incentives expire helped Taiwan-based solar firms to report good May revenues.


A DEEPER LOOK

PV Outsourcing Is a Secret No More: Outsourcing is an open secret in the PV industry. It is specific to the crystalline sector, practiced by most (if not all) manufacturers and widely denied by everyone. The rush to sell more, grow larger, and be recognized as shipping or producing the most technology has led to a high degree of secrecy as to who actually made what, writes Navigant’s Paula Mints.

Program Brings Solar to Rural India: A new initiative by SunEdison will see the installation of distributed solar power plants around India, bringing electricity to areas that have never had it before. Through the program, called Eradication of Darkness, SunEdison will design, install and manage the solar power systems in remote villages across the country.

India Looks at New Biofuel: As consumers struggle to cope with rising petrol prices, India is looking at a new generation of biofuels derived from agricultural waste to revive an ambitious program for blending ethanol with gasoline.

Indonesia’s Geothermal Potential: According to a GEA report, Indonesia’s crucial location along the "Ring of Fire" means it has 27,510 MW of untapped power. The country plans to have 5,000 MW online by 2025.


POLICY WATCH

Japan’s Coming FIT: Over the next few months, news rules are expected to reduce the cost, burden and delays associated with installing systems over 2 MW. These changes as well as the new Energy Master Plan calling for 20 to 35 percent of energy generated by renewables is expected to accelerate Japan’s solar market.

DOC Imposes Tariffs on Chinese Wind Towers: The United States Department of Commerce has once again ruled in favor of American companies who say Chinese manufacturers are receiving unfair government subsidies.


QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Japan’s FIT to Impact Battery Technology?

"The feed-in tariff system will boost demand (for solar panels) at once, creating a big business chance for every solar battery maker and related companies."

Mikio Katayama, head of the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association


HAVE YOUR SAY

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

May 21-29, 2012 Asia Report: China’s Solar Giants Unite to Confront Tariff
May 14-21, 2012 Asia Report: Solar Stocks Tumble After Solar Ruling
May 7-14, 2012 Asia Report: Solar Dumping Announcement Set for May 17
May 1-7, 2012 Asia Report: European Ruling Could Cut Into Palm Oil Exports
April 23-30, 2012 Asia Report: U.S., India Strike $125 Million Investment Deal
April 16-23, 2012 Asia Report: Japan Solar FiT Likely In Line With Industry Request
April 9-16, 2012 Asia Report: Are China’s Sinovel, Goldwind Seeking Vestas Takeover
April 2-9, 2012 Asia Report: 200-MW Solar Project Planned in Japan
March 26-April 2, 2012 Asia Report: India Slashes Wind Incentive
March 19-26, 2012 Asia Report: India’s Wind Potential 30 Times Greater Than Believed
March 5-12, 2012 Asia Report: After Quake, Japan Pushes for Asia Supergrid
Feb. 27-March 5, 2012 Asia Report: Decision on Trade Dispute Looming

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