One of the biggest solar manufacturers in the world, China-based, US-listed Yingli Green Energy, is setting up shop in Australia. The company has announced that it will operate its regional headquarters from Sydney, stating that Australia has become one of the world’s most promising solar markets.
The company has cited that Australia could be a world leader in solar PV in coming years because of rising retail power prices, declining solar PV prices, and new financing options. More obviously, Australia also has a LOT of sunshine. The company says it will also distribute solar panels to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands from its Australian headquarters.
The new head of Yingli Australia, Lucas Sadler, has said that Australia could become the first major solar market in the world to reach mass grid parity; that is, when solar power production becomes equal to or cheaper than other electricity sources connected to the power grid. Australia is expected to be one of the most active markets in the world over the next 3 to 5 years. Yingli sees growth occurring across all sectors of the market, including residential, commercial, and large scale solar PV projects.
It’s interesting to see this solar market development happening in Australia now. I wonder if the introduction of a carbon price in Australia (and New Zealand) has helped make the solar power market in Australia suddenly look a whole lot more attractive?