China installs just 188 MW of distributed PV power in first quarter

China is aiming to install 8 GW of distributed power this year, but in view of the mere 188 MW installed in the first three months of 2014, it will be a major challenge for the country to reach its distributed power target, several panelists commented at the Asian Photovoltaic Industry Association’s Solar Leaders Dialogue in Shanghai on Monday ahead of the start of the SNEC conference on Tuesday.

Despite the low amount of first-quarter installations, industry watchers do not necessarily expect the country to fall short of its goal. China expert Frank Haugwitz estimated the total installed PV capacity for 2017 to reach 80.6 GW while the officially released goal remains 70 GW.

While the worldwide prospects for photovoltaics and expected global market growth have continued to be positive, a number of contentious issues dominated the Solar Leaders Dialogue.

Karl-Heinz Remmers, CEO of German consulting firm and industry service provider Solarpraxis and publisher of pv magazine, demanded that the international PV industry finally form a global association as other industry branches have done. He also prompted Chinese manufacturers to disclose their production cost numbers in order to provide greater transparency in international trade affairs.

JinkoSolar Chief Strategy Officer Arturo Herrero embraced the proposition in discussion with pv magazine at this year’s inaugural Solar Leaders Business Lunch. According to Herrero, Jinko’s net module production costs are $0.48 per watt, gross production costs $0.58 per watt.