China’s former energy chief calls for policy support on solar power, wind energy

Government authorities should take actions to lower prices of renewable power and ensure profits of energy equipment producers, said Zhang Guobao, former head of China’s National Energy Administration, at a press conference on the sidelines of the country’s annual legislative sessions.

"China’s solar power market has not taken off," said Zhang, citing figures that the installed capacity of solar power totalled only 2.2 million kilowatts, compared with that of 450 million kilowatts of all the electricity generators nationwide.

Zhang contributed solar power’s low popularity to a high price, which is currently set at 1.15 yuan (0.18 U.S.dollars) per kilowatt-hour, while that of wind power was 0.57 yuan. "This means the government need to provide more subsidies," he said.

Meanwhile, China’s wind power is witnessing a sound development, according to Zhang. A total of 73.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity has been generated from wind power fields in China last year, which helped save about 30 million tonnes of standard coal.

But with more competitors entering the market, wind power equipment is sold at a very low price, which lowered the profit margin of manufacturers despite the reduction of the costs of power generation, he said. The government should pay attention to these problems and provide solutions in future plans, said Zhang.