As expected, China’s national PV feed-in tariff launched this summer has accelerated solar project development, and now the nation’s PV pipeline stands at 14GW, says Solarbuzz.
October 10, 2011 – China’s national PV feed-in tariff launched this summer was expected to accelerate solar project development, and now the nation’s PV pipeline stands at 14GW, says Solarbuzz in a new report.
There are 1007 nonresidential projects in China in some form of installation or development, says Solarbuzz, including those tender-processed and planned without tenders. Of those, 707 are >1GW. Nonresidential PV project activity is now evident in 29 Chinese provinces. (Officially China has 22 provinces — a definition also assigned to Taiwan — plus a handful of municipalities, autonomous regions e.g. Tibet, and “special administrative regions” i.e. Hong Kong and Macau.) The Northwest region, notably the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, and Sichuan, is ripe for utility-scale projects, home to “intense solar radiation” not to mention vast amounts of land, and thus currently accounts for two-thirds (66%) of that pipeline. Most leading project developers are state-owned, with the top 10 firms accounting for 8.7GW of the total pipeline.
China’s non-residential PV project pipeline by region. (Source: Solarbuzz)
“The earlier-than-expected release of the national PV FiT policy has opened the door to explosive growth in project development activities in China,” said Solarbuzz analyst Ray Lian, in a statement. The result: more tenders and accelerating PV orders. (The Chinese PV market will exceed 1.6GW, an impressive 230% growth vs. 2010.)
Plunging ASPs (factory-gate modules) have helped projects provide “reasonable internal rates of return” considering the new CNY 1.15/kWh FiT. Ground-mount projects >10MW have seen installed system prices sink below CNY15/W.
That strong growth in domestic demand is a “great opportunity to Chinese module suppliers,” Solarbuzz adds, identified as module suppliers Suntech, Yingli, GD Solar and Shanghai Aerospace Automobile Electromechanical, and Sungrow Power Supply in inverters.