Renewable Energy Association says solar MIP must end for industry to reach parity

Monokristalline Solarmodule vor sonnigem HimmelWith the announcement that China has devalued its currency the Yuan by 2% due to increase exports, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) has said that solar minimum import pricing (MIP) must end.

With over 60% of global PV modules produced in China the devaluation will reduce module prices globally as exports from China become cheaper. However, the EU minimum import pricing on Chinese modules is set at €0.56/w and means that the EU will not benefit from these lower prices. It is estimated that module prices in the EU are already 25% higher than global prices and with this news the difference could be increased even further as prices fall outside the EU.

Lauren Cook, Policy Analyst, Renewable Energy Association, said: “As the solar industry moves to a world beyond subsidies, cost reduction in the installation process has become even more important in order to reach grid-parity more quickly.

“MIP has prevented module costs from coming down over the past few years and this additional cost has been funded through subsidies. It is extremely important for the solar industry that MIP is not extended beyond December 2015 to maintain a sustainable industry, which is also in the interests of all energy bill payers.”

In the recent KPMG/REA report ‘UK Solar Beyond Subsidy: The Transition’ it is estimated that modules account for just over 50% of installation costs at UK sites, so any reduction in cost is extremely important for the overall cost of the system. The report makes clear that solar projects in the UK could be built without subsidy within the next few years provided there is stable policy support and costs continue to fall.

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