China’s solar PV market experienced rapid growth during the first three quarters of 2017, adding 43 GW in new PV installations, according to data released by the National Energy Administration of China. Of the total, 27.7 GW were PV power stations, a year-over-year increase of 3 percent, while 15.3 GW were distributed PV, up 400 percent from a year earlier.
As of the end of September 2017, the country’s PV installations delivered 120 GW, divided into 94.GW from PV power stations and 25.6 GW from distributed PV. The country is estimated to have added 20 GW in distributed PV installations during the whole of 2017, of which 12-15 GW are rooftop distributed (commercial, industrial and residential) installations, up by between 400 to 500 percent compared to the previous year. With the rapid increase in the number of PV installations in 2017, insiders foresee a promising 2018 for the country’s PV industry. According to Sun Dongdong, senior analyst at OFweek, China’s urban household PV market is expected to expand to 180 GW.
The country is expected to continue its high-speed growth in distributed PV installations during 2018, with rooftop distributed installations expected to tally somewhere between 24 GW and 30 GW. Together with the centralized PV power stations, the country is expected to reach between 50-56 GW in total PV installations during the year. The current economic environment opens up opportunities for the PV industry’s many producers, who were asked how they see themselves benefiting.
“The continuing technological improvements and restructuring of the market are the two major factors that led to the overall transformation of the sector,” said Zhuang Yinghong, global market director at Risen Energy. Yang Liyou, general manager at Jinergy, added that the ongoing innovations in technologies and business models are the drivers of the industrial growth.
With the aim of promoting the sustainable development of the distributed PV market, it behooves China’s PV makers to re-evaluate their traditional strategies, develop market channels and perfect their project quality systems, in line with the central government’s supportive policies. In Zhuang’s opinion, PV companies should identify the starting point of their distributed PV markets, and encourage residents in the identified market to become more engaged with and learn more about their energy options through seminars and related educational events.
PV companies should enroll agents in every city where a distributed PV model makes sense as a way of extending distributed PV throughout the country. Finally, and most importantly, PV companies must ensure the quality of their products and their before-sale, in-sale and after-sale services to raise awareness and build their reputation.
Lead image credit: CC0 Creative Commons | Pixabay