The US stays at the top of the Solar Index for another quarter, despite dropping three points from 75 to 72 following the bankruptcy of three major solar manufacturers, and resulting decline in investor confidence. Installed capacity currently stands at just over 2.5GW.
Germany remains by far the market leader in terms of capacity, with over 17GW installed. Despite its large capacity of solar PV, it ranks second in the solar PV index, but seventh in the overall index because of its inability to support solar CSP.
In India, revamped solar auction rules will increase the size and amounts of solar projects that companies can win. Furthermore, KfW, Germany’s state-owned development bank will lend US$360m (€265m) to a planned 125MW solar plant in the state of Maharashtra, and the Asian Development Bank is lending US$100m (€74m) to the state of Gujarat to help its solar roll out.
Solar CSP received a boost in Spain, where eight European banks will project finance the 50MW Arenales thermal plant near Seville, being developed by Solar Millennium AG, with a US$405m (€298m) loan.
Romania has gained one point in the index, with a new RES law giving solar six GCs at €27-€55/MWh, a move which it is hoped will spur investment significantly over the coming years.
In the UK. long-awaited ROC banding proposals were published, with ROCs for large-scale solar due to decrease from 2 to 1.9 in 2015-16, and to 1.8 from 2016-17 onward, if the proposals are finalized in 2012. The solar FIT is also provisionally set to reduce by 55% from April 2012 to £0.21/kWh (€0.24/kWh) for installations less than 4kW. These two drops have cost the UK a point and two places, dropping it to 22nd place in the index.
Tunisia enters at joint 12th alongside Portugal and Israel. It has excellent resources for both solar PV and CSP, and good grant and soft loan availability (over US$2b (€1b) has been made available) and a favorable tax climate. That said, solar in Tunisia has yet to capitalize on these conditions and there is only 0.6MW of installed capacity.
Israel also enters the index in 12th place, with good natural resources and subsidies, with FITs of around €0.20/kWh. Current installed capacity stands at 61MW.
Ukraine has a favourable tax climate, FIT of over €0.40/kWh, and 7MW of installed capacity, placing it in 23rd place.