China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) announced on its website this week the new installation target of 13 GW for 2014, slightly below the 14 GW goal set earlier this year, but above more recent murmurings of 10 GW predicted a few months ago.
In setting its sights slightly lower, the NEA’s director Wu Xinxiong explained that the pursuit of wider distributed generation will dominate solar policy for the remainder of the year. Having begun 2014 sluggishly, with just 188 MW of distributed generation PV installed, the NEA expects the sector to flourish in the second-half of the year, and has introduced a series of tax incentives to make the sector more attractive to businesses and individuals.
Local media outlet Xinhua news has reported that the NEA is contemplating a raft of additional support measures designed to help China hit its revised target, although Xinxiong would not be drawn on specific details. Some provinces in China already offer their own installation incentive targets, and it is believed that one avenue the NEA may explore is to make it mandatory for all provinces to impose a distributed generation PV quota, calling for local planners to add more projects in areas where solar power can be distributed to nearby customers.
Unsubstantiated reports suggest that China has targeted the installation of 8 GW of distributed solar this year, although the NEA will neither confirm nor deny these reports.
Deutsche Bank analysts Vishal Shah commented on the rumors, stating that any potential policy announcement would likely prove a positive catalyst for stocks. "Stronger H2 demand in China would likely result in upward revisions of module price expectations and likely create a supply shortage, driving polysilicon prices higher," said Shah. "It would also mean modest upside to our 12 GW China demand estimate. More importantly, this event would be a positive for long-term sustainable growth of the China market."
On the back of these persistent rumors, Trina Solar enjoyed an 8.1% share increase its highest for two months while JinkoSolar and Yingli also saw their shares rise by 7.1% and 3.2% respectively.