China unveils 15 GW solar target

Wasteland and fishponds will play their part as China aims to treble the amount of distributed generation (DG) solar power this year.

The National Energy Administration (NEA) of China announced on Monday it is aiming for 15 GW of new solar capacity in 2015, of which DG will make up 7 GW, a 200 per cent rise on the roughly 2.3 GW installed last year.

With officials still smarting from having fallen 4 GW short of last year’s 14 GW target, the NEA moved to release details of its target as early in the year as possible.

The 15 GW figure will include 8 GW of ground-mount capacity and the 7 GW DG target will include at least 3.15 GW of rooftop solar, with the official announcement highlighting wasteland and fishponds as areas that could be covered with panels.

Provinces with favorable irradiation levels, such as Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, have been set targets much higher than the 50 per cent total rise demanded nationally, compared to last year’s figures.

The announcement, which breaks down targets by province, makes special provision for Tibet, which is seen to have high potential for solar and the four big cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing, where scarcity of land is an issue.