Stable Growth Ahead for China’s PV Industry in Second Half of 2017

China’s solar PV industry maintained rapid growth during 1Q17. Insiders said that the sustained and steady growth could be expected to continue during the second half of this year, on the heels of increasingly improved technologies and an acceleration of the transformation already underway across the industry.

According to data recently released by the National Energy Administration of China, the country’s PV industry added 7.21 GW of new installations during 1Q17, nearly the same as that during 1Q16. The country’s centralized PV power stations added 4.78 GW of new installation capacity during the same period, down 23 percent from a year earlier.

The distributed PV sector added a further 2.43 GW during the same period, up 151 percent year on year. The country consumed 1.45 trillion kWh of electricity during the quarter, up 6.9 percent compared to the same period of last year, and is one of the main reasons for the continuation of the rapid growth.

Wang Chuanbang, president of operations at Znshine PV-Tech, said that the orderly progress achieved by leadership projects, the aggressive support provided to distributed PV projects by industrial policies and the efforts on behalf of producers to upgrade their own technologies all contributed to the rapid growth in new PV installations during the quarter following the significant growth in new installations across the distributed PV sector over the past year.

Wang added, “According to the 13th five-year (2016-2020) plan outline for the PV industry, the country plans to aggressively grow the rooftop distributed PV power generation sector. The country aims to complete the establishment of 100 distributed PV application demonstration areas by 2020. The country’s distributed PV sector has substantial growth potential and is expected to drive the steady development of the PV industry in the future.”

Data released by the National Energy Administration also showed that the country’s PV sector generated 21.4 billion kWh of electricity during 1Q17, up 80 percent from a year earlier. The government has rolled out policies to ensure the sector’s healthy development. PV makers across the country are focusing on research into and development of low-cost technologies with the goal of achieving grid parity.

Wang Hong, president of Risen Energy, commented, “Highly effective, low-cost products can be expected to become more popular across the market during the second half of this year. This is why more and more companies, including Risen Energy, are now more focused on the R&D of new products.” He explained that more efficient and reliable PV power generation products are expected to remain in the mainstream during the second half of this year.