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South East Asia PV Markets Ramp Up To Chinese Delight

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China's largest market is increasing its appetite for solar and PV products.

The Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) said recently it would accelerate the development of renewable energy projects, emphasizing the importance of producing energy locally to ensure energy security. Thus far, the Philippine DOE has made minimal progress in its renewable energy endeavors. It has cancelled more than 100 renewable energy project contracts that it has signed with other parties.

To increase the efficacy of its renewable energy projects, the Phillipines DOE will undertake a number of measures. Those measures include boosting the wattage of solar electricity systems from 50 MW to 500MW and shortening project processing time from two years to 45 days, said Angus Kao, a research manager at EnergyTrend, a division of the Taiwan-based market intelligence firm TrendForce. "These efforts by the Philippine DOE could help to increase foreign investment in its renewable energy projects," Kao said.

In early October, as it celebrated its twelfth birthday, the Thailand Department of Energy also rolled out an energy plan of its own. The plan calls for speedy procurement of a 2000 MW electricity system from solar factories next year.

China's largest module export markets are in Southeast Asia. Among them, the Philippines and Thailand are Nos. 1 and 2 respectively. In the first half of 2014, China exported 158 MW to the Philippines and 98 MW to Thailand. Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam are China's third, fourth and fifth largest module export markets, respectively. "Because the Philippines' renewable energy policy is becoming clear, China's module exports to the Philippines grew 19% to 43 MW in August," Kao said.

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