In-country analyst the AECEA has speculated the authorities could be ready to wipe the slate clean for the start of the nation’s 14th five-year plan on January 1. The analyst has raised its solar expectations for the year but noted the sky-high price of polysilicon remains a concern for developers.
PV manufacturers unable to live with proposed new quality guidelines and project developers alike are set to be squeezed out by the state in the world’s biggest solar market, according to Frank Haugwitz, who has compiled a market update as preparations for the next five-year plan gather pace.
The world’s largest utility has looked outside the energy industry for its new head for the first time in its history, apparently signalling a lack of patience in Beijing with the slow pace of implementing a lower electricity price and of guaranteeing purchase of all clean power generated in the nation.
The first part of pv magazine’s review of 2019 considers Q1, when solar early adopter Italy offered an optimistic start to the year by fleshing out its plans for PV but uncertainty still clouded the world’s biggest solar market. The potential for household solar installations to rocket the world over – helped by ever cheaper panels – prompted strategic decisions in the inverter market and analyst expectations were confounded as the cobalt and lithium price plummeted, bringing the EV revolution a big step nearer.
The nation’s plan for grid-parity solar – brought forward to ease a mounting public PV subsidy debt burden – could be left in ruins by a newly-announced scheme to part liberalize the electricity price, itself motivated by a need to bail out financially stricken state-owned power companies.
The showpiece 3.6 GW Fengning county project which will offer grid services and back-up power at the 2022 Winter Olympics is part of a 31.15 GW construction pipeline of projects, many of which are set to come into service next year.
The Chinese manufacturer is holding out hope a boom that is expected to start imminently will help it turnaround losses that forced it to issue a profit warning last week. Getting its new production line in Qujing up to speed will help, provided the demand materializes.
Some 168 projects will be developed across 16 provinces free from central government subsidy. The fact the average capacity of such projects has tumbled indicates Beijing’s plan to accelerate the arrival of subsidy free solar may be on track.
The Beijing authorities have confirmed the payment levels to be made according to type of project and region from July onwards but an auction process will be involved so the figures are for guidance only. No decision has yet been made on the 30 GW of capacity added since the end of May.
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