Off-Grid, Solar

China PV pipeline finds price/incentive ratio stimulating

Solarbuzz tracks solar photovoltaics installations in the US and China in 2011, finding China’s projected 1.8GW installations at 195 projects matching that of the US. Project development in China is ramping as module and balance of systems (BOS) prices tank.

November 7, 2011 — Solarbuzz tracks solar photovoltaics installations in the US and China in 2011, finding China’s projected 1.8GW installations at 195 projects matching that of the US. Project development in China is ramping as module and balance of systems (BOS) prices tank.

According to the recently released Solarbuzz China Deal Tracker report, the non-residential PV project pipeline in China grew to 16GW at the end of October, covering 1104 projects in some form of development or installation.

29 Chinese provinces have solar PV in the works, but 86% of the pipeline comes from Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia Sichuan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shaanxi, Tibet and Anhui.

Figure. China’s non-residential PV pipeline, by province. SOURCE: Solarbuzz.

Northwest China is the site of the majority of capacity (54% by MW) in 2011, thanks to the Qinghai 930 program and unified national feed-in tariff (FIT) policy. Low FIT rates (1.15 CNY/kWh in 2011 and 1.0 CNY/kWh for 2012) kept the solar pipeline in high-solar-radiation regions, like Golmud, until system prices dropped enough in 2011 to make widespread projects profitable, explained Ray Lian, analyst at Solarbuzz. Golmud is west of Xining in northern China.

The top seven project developer groups account for nearly 1GW of PV demand in 2011, including state-owned enterprises China Power Investment Corporation, China Guodian Corporation, China Huadian Corporation, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corporation, and China Energy Conservation & Environmental Protection Group. The CHINT Group is the only private enterprise among the top seven developers.

The highest internal rates of return (IRR) will come to Golden Sun and Solar Rooftop PV programs in Q4 2011 and 1H 2012, Solarbuzz found, because of an 8 CNY/Wp or higher rebate to a system cost of about 12 CNY/Wp. Low system prices could also entice more industrial and commercial customers in 2012 and 2013. Solarbuzz expects this to boost the building-mount PV segment in China, now about 10% of total pipeline.

The Solarbuzz China Deal Tracker reports project activity in the non-residential segment, including utilities. The database includes a variety of parameters for every tracked installation: project name, project developer, owner or host, system size (MWp and average annual MWh), installed system pricing, system type (ground mount, rooftop, BIPV, off-grid), region, province, city, exact location, project progress, incentive program, installer, module and inverter suppliers, module type, project developer and installer contact details. Learn more by emailing [email protected], or call Charles Camaroto at 1.516.625.2452.

Solarbuzz, part of The NPD Group, is a market research business focused on solar energy and photovoltaic industries. For more information, visit www.solarbuzz.com.

Subscribe to Photovoltaics World

Follow Photovoltaics World on Twitter.com via editors Pete Singer, twitter.com/PetesTweetsPW and Debra Vogler, twitter.com/dvogler_PV_semi.

Or join our Facebook group