Solar photovoltaic development Plan in China

The Chinese government has announced a new supporting strategy for the promotion of solar energy, aiming to achieve 1,000 MW of solar photovoltaic power per year since 2012. The goal is to reach a total installed capacity of 20,000 MW by 2020.

According to statements from government officials quoted by the press, financial support will cover up to 50% of the costs of plant components. The remaining costs will be supported by subsidies ranging between 4 and 6 yuan (45 to 67 euro cents) for each installed watt. This way the government in Beijing plans to significantly reduce the cost of solar energy, which currently amount to about 7 times that of a coal-generated kWh.

In order to support the plan, 13 special areas have been recognized as suitable for the development of innovative projects. One of these areas is the one of Beijing, where the plan foresees the installation of panels covering about 700,000 square feet of industrial and commercial roofs.

The new measures are intended not only to support national targets for renewable energy development and emission reduction, but also to help the Chinese industry sector, which is going through a delicate moment. In fact, although the country is exporting 98% of its production and is the largest exporter of photovoltaic components in the world, it has suffered from the devaluation of the euro compared to the yuan and could collapse if Europe’s market, currently the largest one, should reduce its demand following the expected subsidy cuts. Also the US market has difficulties, since Washington protests for Chinese excessively low prices, and it threatens to enforce duties.