China tipped to beat 2015 solar target, after adding 5GW in Q1

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China adds more than 5GW of solar in first quarter, a level that Abbott government in Australia says is impossible to do in 5 years.

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Chinese solar giant Trina Solar has suggested China could exceed its 2015 PV target of nearly 18GW of new capacity, on the back of substantial growth in the country’s uncapped distributed generation market.

In an interview with Deutsche Bank analysts last week, the CFO of Trina – the world’s number one PV manufacturer – noted that of this year’s 17.8GW target in China, there was no limit to rooftop solar projects, so actual installs could exceed targets.Chinese_solar_roofs

The comment followed confirmation, on Monday, from Beijing’s National Energy Administration that China had connected 5.04GW of solar capacity in the first quarter of 2015 – an amount the Australian government has said would be impossible to install within five years – bringing China’s cumulative total to 33GW.

Utility-scale projects accounted for 4.38GW of China’s Q1 installations, and 1.1GW of capacity was installed in northwestern Xinjiang province. The fact China isn’t setting specific 2015 targets for utility and distributed installations – which it did in 2014 – has widely been expected to make the full-year target easier to hit.

The bullish comments from Trina – which Deutsche Bank has since rated as a “buy” – also followed similar predictions from fellow Chinese solar giant, Yingli Green Energy.

The CEO of Yingli told analysts last month that China’s solar target of 100GW installed by 2020 could be viewed as a minimum, due to the number of factors currently driving demand in the developing country.

The comments were made in a conference call with analysts, after Yingli – now ranked as the world’s second-largest solar panel producer, behind compatriot Trina Solar – reported its 14th consecutive quarterly loss.

In response to a question from Roth Capital’s Philip Shen, Yingli chairman and CEO Liansheng Miao said that China’s continued demand for new energy capacity, its ongoing battle against air pollution and energy poverty, and its focus on economic development, meant the 100GW solar target set in Beijing’s last Five-Year Plan “could be treated as the bottom.”

Trina, meanwhile, told Deutcshe Bank that Chinese solar projects were receiving timely electricity payments, but FiT payments were still facing a 6-12 month backlog, and would be paid quarterly.

The CFO said the government had specifically focused on understanding these issues and finding ways to address them recently.

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2 Comments
  1. Ian 4 years ago

    The Chinese need to lift their game to beat Australia on per capita solar installation. Their population is 64 times the size of Australia’s. We installed 816 MW on house hold rooftops in 2014. Multiply that by 64 gives 52 GW that they need to install to match our efforts . Our total solar at end 2014 was 4GW, times that by 64 is 256GW total that China needs to match our green credentials.

  2. Nicholas Dow 4 years ago

    @Ian, you need to divide by the quantity of electricity consumed per person to make a fair comparison. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_electricity_consumption AU consumes 1114 watts per capita, CH 458, multiply that ratio by your 256GW figure gives 105GW, so they are still behind at 33GW, but catching up.

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