China: 300 MW of agricultural PV opportunities emerge

17. September 2012 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets | By:  Jonathan Gifford

Agricultural photovoltaic applications in Central and Eastern China are opening up, producing demand for modules in regions where land for ground mounted arrays are in short supply. The trend has been identified in the NPD Solarbuzz China Deal Tracker report, published today.

A rooftop PV system in China.

Greenhouse and farm roofs is opening up as a new space for photovoltaics in Central and Eastern China.

More evidence is emerging of a diversifying photovoltaic landscape in China, with the latest NPD Solarbuzz report revealing that more than 300 MW of projects are being planned on agricultural land in the country. The observations, made in the China Deal Tracker report, show that photovoltaic developers are becoming more active in the agricultural sector in China and are also being supported by government policy.

NPD Solarbuzz lists applications such as a 9.8 MW installation in Changshu and other greenhouse roof sites as examples of this trend. The 9.8 MW installation is on the roof of a mushroom farm.

"The agricultural photovoltaic market segment in China was previously overlooked by downstream photovoltaic suppliers and installers," said Steven Han, an analyst with NPD Solarbuzz. "However, with the threat of anti-dumping actions from the United States and Europe potentially restricting their available sales channels, creating additional demand locally is now essential for both module and balance-of-systems suppliers."

Government initiatives, such as the Golden Sun program, have been supporting agricultural solar projects in China. NPD Solarbuzz continued that the China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group (CECEP) is currently targeting more than 100 MW of photovoltaic projects specifically within the agricultural segment.

Agricultural photovoltaic developments are attracting the backing of top-tier photovoltaic developers in the country, reports NPD Solarbuzz, and the market segment is forecast to grow rapidly in the coming years.

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