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China ramps up 2015 solar target to 40GW

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Talk out of China suggests that official bodies in that country are finally ready to lift their target for the deployment of solar to 40GW by 2015, just weeks after the official target was raised to 21GW, according to comments included in a report in China Daily this week.

Just 18 months ago, the 2015 target for 2015 was just 5GW. But more than that has been installed this year alone.

Deutsche Bank analysts noted that the updated forecast suggests that more than 10GW of solar will be installed in China in each of the next three years. Assuming that solar deployment will continue to increase rather than slow; that suggests a cumulative total of well over 100GW by 2020.

China has been looking to upgrade its targets to help its solar manufacturing base, which is suffering from overcapacity, and falling demand from European nations, where feed-in tariffs have been cut back or eliminated.

On Tuesday, the government announced that the total amount of projects approved under the 2nd batch of its Golden Sun program was 2.8GW, well ahead of the 2GW expected, taking this year’s allocation to 4.5GW.

“We believe the higher than expected approved amount is another move by the government to rescue the sector,” Deutsche Bank analyst Eric Cheng wrote in a report. Other initiatives include speeding up grid connection and promoting the construction of a distributed solar power system.

In the world’s second biggest energy consumer, solar PV deployment is also rising, but not to the same extent – at least not just yet.

Bloomberg reports that US installations of solar PV jumped 44 per cent in the third quarter and will total around 3.2GW this year. Shayle Kann, vice president of research at GTM Research said installations were likely to double from the third quarter to 1.2GW. Residential systems increased 12 percent in the third quarter from the prior quarter to 119MW, Bloomberg said, making deployment smaller than in Australia. This is despite falling panel prices and the growing popularity of solar-leasing programs. But its commercial and government sector jumped 24 per cent from the second quarter to 258MW. Australia’s share in the sector is negligible. US deployment is expected to grow to 4GW in 2013 and 5.4GW in 2014.

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