China to aim for 70GW solar by end of 2017, USA & India also plan big on clean energy

China is looking to more than triple its solar capacity by the end of 2018, as the US and India also look to boost their renewables and solar capacity.

The move by the world’s three biggest emitters and energy markets signals the powerful trends that support the solar industry in the major economies.

In China, the central government wants to double its wind energy capacity over four years, to 150GW, and lift its solar capacity three-fold from 20GW at the end of 2013 to 70GW at the end of 2017 – double its previous target for 2015.

Meanwhile, the in the US, the Obama administration is reportedly considering using its executive powers through the Clean Air Act to seek greenhouse gas cuts of 25 per cent from existing generators.

This would expand regulations from the smokestacks to inclusion of greater amounts of renewable energy, greater focus on efficiency, and of reducing demand.

The rules on carbon-dioxide emissions promise to be the backbone of US action on global warming for years to come. Obama may even unveil the power plant rules himself when they are announced on June 2.

In India, meanwhile, the election of Narendra Modi suggests a greater focus on renewables in that country, particularly solar.

Modi home state of Gujarat, which he has governed for more than a decade, leads the country in solar installations, and Modi himself has talked of the need for a “saffron” revolution to reduce the reliance on coal. Some analysts have talked of a dramatic increase in the country’s National Solar Mission targets, which currently sit on 22GW by 2022

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson