China: Non-residential PV pipeline hits 16 GW

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Solarbuzz’s latest China Deal Tracker report has found that there has been an "explosion" in photovoltaic project development in China, due chiefly to decreasing module and balance of system costs, which have helped to make the country’s feed-in tariff more attractive and boost internal rates of return (IRRs).

These figures are significantly up from the 14 GW pipeline Solarbuzz reported back in October, and the expected 1.6 GW of new installations in 2011.

Stimulation

Overall, the researchers have identified 1,104 non-residential photovoltaic projects, which are either already completed, under construction, or in the development phases in 29 of China’s provinces. Of this, they believe that 1.8 GW of capacity, or 195 projects, will be installed in 2011.

"Stimulated by the Qinghai 930 program, as well as unified national feed-in tariff (FIT) policy," said Solarbuzz in a statement released, "54 percent of the capacity in megawatt terms will be located in the northwest region."

Representing 26 percent of the pipeline, Qinghai has been identified as the country’s leading solar province, followed by Gansu at 17 percent, Ningxia at 16 percent and Inner Mongolia at 10 percent. Sichuan follows in fifth place at four percent, while Jiangsu, Shandong, Shaanxi all represent three percent, and Tibet and Anhui two percent. Meanwhile, the remaining 14 percent of the pipeline is classified as "other".

Solarbuzz added that the leading seven project developer groups account for around one GW of photovoltaic demand this year. They include: China Power Investment Corporation; China Guodian Corporation; China Huadian Corporation; China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corporation; and China Energy Conservation & Environmental Protection Group. "The Chint Group is the only private enterprise among the top seven developers," continued Solarbuzz.

Analyst, Ray Lian, went on to say that projects implemented under the Golden Sun and Solar Rooftop program can expect to receive the highest IRRs on both the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of next.

"With at least eight CNY/Wp rebate to system cost approaching 12 CNY/Wp, owners of these projects will not leave money on the table," he said. "As a result, the market share of the building-mount segment in China will show a significant increase over the next several quarters."

Solarbuzz has additionally found that, currently, building-mount projects comprise around 10 percent of China’s non-residential photovoltaic pipeline. However, it believes that should system prices continue on their downward trajectory, photovoltaics could become a profitable solution for both industrial and commercial parties, in some provinces, by 2013. "This will greatly stimulate building-mount project development by the corporate sector in China," it concluded.