China: PV to grow at annual rate of 1 GW from 2012

China Daily also reported that the government will encourage more, as of yet unidentified, pilot projects over the next two years, in addition to granting a 50 percent subsidy to key equipment in these projects. By 2020, the Ministry of Science and Technology has said its long-term goal is to reach 20 GWs of installed PV power in China.

Furthermore, it has been said that China’s PV industry is looking to reduce its reliance on foreign markets. Currently, 98 percent of the country’s PV products are exported, with the domestic market retaining only 400 megawatts (MWs) at the end of last year.

This compares to around six GWs of PV panel production capacity at the end of 2009: figures from China’s National Development & Reform Commission expect this to reach 15 GWs by the end of this year, which represents an increase of 150 percent. Actual solar panel production, on the other hand, is forecast to hit six GWs this year.

To put this in perspective, the country’s installed wind power capacity reached 30 GWs at the end of June. According to a joint report by Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), this figure should rise to 464.9 billion kW in 2020. This is part of China’s quest to increase its non-fossil share of overall energy consumption to 15 percent by the year 2020 through investments not only in wind and solar power production, but also in hydro and nuclear power.