China’s National Energy Administration has announced a solar energy target of 110 GW for 2020. The figure represent a 20% reduction of the previously announced target of 150 GW.
The 110 GW is split into 60 GW of distributed generation with the remaining 50 GW to be made up of 45 GW ground-mounted utility-scale systems and 5 GW of CSP.
Despite the reduction these individual targets still represent a challenge, in particular 60 GW of distributed generation, given that today approximately 15 GW is installed.
By the end of 2015 the total installed capacity amounted to 43 GW. In Q1-Q3/2016 an additional 27 GW was installed and in the best case in Q4/2016 another 5-8 GW could be possibly installed, so by the end of 2016 China could be home to 75-78 GW which translates into an average installation volume of below 9 GW per year through to 2020.
If the recent semi-officially communicated reduction of feed-in tariff, possibly effective by Jan 1, 2017, becomes reality that will most likely will trigger a surge of installations through to September 2017, in order to benefit from the rather generous 2016 FIT.
Analysis by AECEA (Asia Europe Clean Energy Solar Advisory Co) considers this 110 GW target to be a minimum, because it believes there is room for more. Past experience suggests it – for example the 12th Five-Year-Plan (2011-2015) target of 35 GW was exceeded by 20%, leading to the 43 GW of installed capacity mentioned above. Also, the wording of official pronouncements suggests that the 110 GW may will be exceeded.