China ups solar PV capacity target to 13GW, with focus on distributed generation

China has flagged a new national solar installation target of 13GW for 2014, a target it hopes to meet through the development of distributed PV generation.

The new target – higher than the 10GW broached mid-year, but lower than the 14GW set in early 2014 – was announced by the National Energy Administration on Tuesday with few accompanying details, although media reports said policies could be announced as soon as this month.

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg said the NEA would call for local planners to add more projects in regions where electricity can be distributed to customers living nearby.

The article also indicated that China would encourage local governments to offer extra subsidies for distributed solar investments; increase support for installations at schools, hospitals and in rural areas; promote installations on public infrastructure; and encourage financial institutions to offer discounts on loans for distributed projects.

“Installations of solar panels will be promoted on public infrastructure such as railway stations and airport terminals,” the Bloomberg report said.

“Solar projects built on abandoned land and hills, agricultural greenhouses, inter-tidal zones, fishponds and lakes and connected to grids with low voltage will enjoy preferential tariffs, the (unnamed sources) said.”

According to Deutsche Bank analysts, the fine-tuning of the policy would likely include key measures like feed-in tariffs for projects with a low self-consumption ratio, unstable power load, or unable to implement energy management contracts.

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson