China increases solar installation target for 2015

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With China set to add another 5.3 GW of installed solar power this year on top of its earlier 17.8 GW goal, the country has raised its overall solar installation target for 2015 by 30%.

According to Reuters, which cited Chinese state media reports, the additional installations could lead to more overcapacity in view of narrow grid capacity that has made it difficult for new plants to deliver power.

The new plants will be located primarily in Inner Mongolia and Hebei in the north and Xinjiang in the west, according to the report cited by Reuters.

The National Energy Administration (NEA) has required new projects to be completed by the end of 2015 and connected to the grid by the end of June next year, Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

According to the NEA, China installed 7.73 GW of capacity in the first half of 2015 – just one-third of the new target. As a result, solar developers have apparently had to speed up construction in the second half of the year.

Reuters pointed out that China’s insufficient grid capacity and overcapacity has limited the growth of solar in the country, citing NEA data that indicated nearly a tenth of the solar power generated during the first half of 2015 was unable to be delivered.

China has pledged to cap carbon dioxide emissions by increasing the use of non-fossil fuel such as wind and solar, with Co2 emissions expected to peak by 2030.

The Chinese government is aiming to increase the share of non-fossil fuels from 11% at the end of 2014 to 15% by 2020 in an effort to meet its climate vows to the United Nations. Yet the country’s solar power development remains bedeviled by subsidy collection and panel quality, which in turn has made investors wary of the sector.