China joins low-price solar party with bids of $0.078/kWh in Inner Mongolia: reports

Record-low solar tariffs have today been offered in a tender in China’s Inner Mongolia region, according to media outlet China Business News.

A report by the newspaper, and picked up by international news agency Reuters, states that up to 50 solar developers have bid as low as 0.52 yuan ($0.078)/kWh in the government-backed tender, and it is reported that the price offered by China Huadian Corp is, in some regions, near to the upper end of coal-fired power prices. pv magazine is unable to verify these figures at this time.

While Abu Dhabi this week set the global solar price bar lower than ever before, these lows for China are still unprecedented in the world’s largest solar market.

According to one anonymous bidder, the certain incentives have been offered to these government-backed solar projects that are "not available to other commercial utilities that take higher financial losses through transmission curtailment and subsidy default", reported Reuters.

Having reached 20 GW of cumulative solar PV installations in the first half of the year, China’s June 30 FIT cut has since slowed installation rates dramatically, while late subsidy payments and the sticky issue of curtailment has led to a further contraction of solar PV.

However, the Chinese Ministry of Finance has today approached payment of subsidies for renewable power projects that have received no payment since last year.

However, approvals for new solar power projects in the congested western regions of Xinjiang and Gansu will be halted until such time that the grid can be augmented to handle the concentration of built solar PV capacity in the locality.