Lobbying attempts by the world’s big solar players to attempt to persuade the Chinese government to soften its move to curtail solar deployment met with only marginal success this week.
The Chinese authorities announced a week ago an immediate halt to further subsidized ground-mount projects this year, as well as introducing a 10 GW cap – which analysts believe may already have been passed – on subsidized distributed generation (DG) schemes. The government also reduced the national PV FIT by CNY0.05 ($0.0078) with immediate effect.
The abrupt policy announcement sent shockwaves around the global PV industry, given China’s unchallenged position as the world’s biggest solar superpower, and leaders of the nation’s biggest PV companies signed an open letter to the Xinhua news agency to voice their concerns.
Industry leaders stated a sympathy with the government’s desire to reduce the level of subsidies paid out of the public purse, and to better regulate DG installation, but argued the abrupt curtailment of previously guaranteed projects would cause unjustified hardship and that a grace period should be used to effect the proposed changes.
There was only slight movement in Beijing however, with the government responding on Monday and China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) and the National Energy Administration (NEA) confirming all projects in receipt of quota permission last year, and which can be connected to the grid by the end of this month, will have their 2017 quota subsidies honored. It is estimated that slight concession will add around 4-5 GW of new capacity by the end of the month, such is the scale of the Chinese market.
But further lobbying efforts by representatives of the likes of Sungrow, Trina Solar, Tongwei, Longi, Jinko and CSI – whose top executives were in Beijing to meet the director of the government’s new energy department on Wednesday – have thus far fallen on deaf ears. A press release issued after the meeting contained no new concessions and there has been no official response as yet to a letter sent to the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), signed by 52 residential PV companies including CSI, Sungrow and Chint.
With analysts at the recent, record-breaking SNEC expo in Shanghai speculating the Chinese market could be close to, or even surpass last year’s landmark 53 GW of new PV capacity, industry watchers are now warning the figure for 2018 could plummet as far as 28-35 GW, thanks to Beijing’s dramatic intervention.
Author: Vincent Shaw
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The crucial point in the belated switch to auctions is how much capacity will be auctioned. The rationale of the move is clearly to cut subsidies, not installations as such. Judging by Mexico and India – which enjoy better sun than China but don’t have its massive domestic supply chain – it should be possible for China to procure huge volumes of solar at an unsubsidised price, of the order of 3c/kwh. Why would the government not do this, rather than throw its world-beating solar industry into recession?
Same happened in some EU countries few years back. think the governement need break to avoid the bubling, or its maybe the Grid and dispatch center are already flooded with intermitency. So gouvernement may very well impose also a Maximum MWh limit and all PV developper will have to use ESS to avoid curtailing and supply Minimum MWh. (RE+ESS)
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.