China dispatch: $255 billion needed for achieving renewable targets

According to plans from the Chinese government, the cumulative capacity of solar and wind power will reach 35 GW and 100 GW respectively by the end of 2015, and 70 GW and 160 GW by the end of 2017. Calculations by E&Y shows the total investment will be at least RMB1.58 trillion ($255 billion) for these targets to be reached.

“Financing is always a major challenge for PV projects," said a high-level JinkoSolar official cited in the E&Y report. E&Y predicts the investment required for distributed PV targets alone will grow from RMB80 billion ($12.9 billion) in 2014 to RMB178 billion ($28.7 million) in 2017.

To meet the looming financing challenge, E&Y suggests China use multiple innovative funding modes including yieldcos, institutional financing, leasing, and crowd-funding or community-funding.

Yieldcos in particular can acquire financing directly from the stock market for operating projects. Institutional funds usually show more interest in long-term projects with stable returns. Leasing can be an alternative funding method for some projects. Crowd-funding and community-funding could help to fund both small distributed PV projects and individual investors.