The world’s solar superpower added only 16 GW of new generation capacity up to the end of last month, according to the head of the main industry association. Short of a ten-week miracle, the annual capacity figure seems set for a second consecutive steep annual decline.
The Ningbo-based manufacturer shipped more than a quarter of the panels it exported in the first six months of the year to the eastern European nation. All the big manufacturers posted rising shipment volumes as emerging markets made up for slow growth in their homeland.
The latest figures show the solar policy vacuum, and related dearth of demand in China earlier this year accelerated price reductions for cell makers. Although prices are expected to rebound in line with renewed thirst for solar in China, cell makers such as Tongwei are feeling the pain.
Quasi-governmental body the CPIA has released first-half figures for the world’s biggest solar marketplace which show production volumes for export markets continuing to expand and the domestic picture set to rebound after public solar subsidy levels were published.
While the world’s biggest solar manufacturers are confident there are plenty of alternative markets for a rising volume of panel exports, the message spelled out by first-quarter shipment figures is that protectionism works.
Projects not encompassed by the new, central-subsidy-free, ‘grid-parity’ regime will be eligible to bid for a government subsidy. But, at a reported $446 million, the pot is not very big.
In what analysts worldwide are sure to look back on as the last golden period for global solar – at least for the immediate future – China saw more impressive figures for PV manufacturing in the first half of the year. Then the government stepped in.
Representations by big beasts of global PV win only a partial concession from the authorities in Beijing, with officials agreeing to honor FIT payments for any ground mount projects connected during the next three weeks.
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