China lifts PV installation target to 35 GW by 2015


Just one year after announcing an increase in its cumulative 2015 PV target from 15 GW to 21 GW, the Chinese government said it was now raising the goal to 35 GW.

To this end, the country will add approximately 10 GW of PV capacity annually from 2013 through 2015.

China’s State Council has continued to support the development of distributed PV installations in the country. To boost the distributed PV market, the country will build 100 distributed PV demonstration zones and 1,000 distributed PV demonstration towns and villages.

The government is also encouraging the expansion of small-scale distributed PV generation, such as residential installations, throughout the country.

In terms of overcapacity control, the new plan includes new manufacturing requirements for photovoltaic modules to expand capacity. The conversion efficiency of monosilicon cells are required to be higher than 20% and conversion efficiency of polysilicon cells are required to be higher than 18%, while conversion efficiency of thin film cells are required to be more than 12% and electricity consumption of polysilicon production will be controlled under 100 kWh/kg.

Under the new plan, the government is also encouraging mergers and acquisitions among the manufactures as a way to speed up a restructuring of the PV industry. Tax breaks will be provided to companies which undergo a merger, acquisition or reorganization.

However, analysts seem to be less convinced. Earlier this year when China announced its 10 GW PV installation target for 2013, Bohua Wang, secretary-general of the China Photovoltaic Industry Alliance, and Wang Hai Sheng, chief analyst at Minsheng Securities, expressed skepticism, pointing out that due to the current market situation, 8 GW was a more likely figure for 2013.