China imposes new solar industry guidelines

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The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology ( MIIT ) has announced new regulations for domestic photovoltaic manufacturers.

The guidelines for the solar manufacturing industry, published on Tuesday, will prohibit manufacturers from investing solely in the expansion of production capacity. The ministry’s stricter regulations also address production requirements, energy consumption, environmental protection and quality management.

The new policy will now require manufacturers to invest at least 3% of annual revenue, or the equivalent of €1.22 million ($1.65 million) a year, in research and development and technological advancement. In addition, the regulations call for minimum requirements in production capacities for various products, including ingots, solar cells and thin film products. The new guidelines will go into effect within 30 days of publication, i.e., by mid-October.

The solar market is currently struggling with tremendous overcapacity in solar modules, a development that has been exacerbated by the expansion of capacity among Chinese manufacturers in recent years.

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