I just reported yesterday on a new report out by Ernst & Young showing that China is the most attractive country in the world for renewable energy investors. However, it wasn’t ranked at the top for solar energy investment (it was tied for third with Spain and behind the #1-ranked US and #2-ranked India). That may change next time around (the report is released every quarter), as China is preparing to officially up its 2015 solar capacity target from 5 GW to 10 GW!
You may have heard rumor of this before, as it has been talked about for awhile now, but now a draft proposal has reportedly been submitted to the State Council for approval.
Drop in Cost of Solar Energy Key Factor
The projected drop in solar energy costs is a big factor making this shift more possible and an official target.
According to Channel NewsAsia: “researchers said as the cost of solar power is falling, they are optimistic that this clean energy can be used more widely to ease China’s power shortage by 2015.”
“The drop in the cost of solar energy is about 10 per cent to 20 per cent each year,” Dr. Hao Guoqiang, vice president of the Shanghai Solar Energy Energy Research Center said.
“This is to say in 2015 the cost of supplying solar electricity is basically about the same as our electricity fees right now. That will be an era whereby solar energy is used on a large scale.”
The policy is not official yet, but is expected to be very soon now, as part of the country’s 12th 5-year plan.
China’s 2020 target may also increase from 20 GW to 50 GW according to the local media.
China Solar Energy Challenges & Needs
“There are still big barriers. There is no standardised feed-in tariff and grid connection is a big problem without a standard policy,” Wang Sicheng, a senior solar energy researcher at China’s top policy-making body – the National Development and Reform Commission — said.
“All other markets are driven by incentive. A feed-in-tariff for China is long-awaited, though with module prices coming down so rapidly, it’s probably in [the government's] interest to wait until these stabilise,” says Paul Combs, investor relations director at Hanwha SolarOne.
Related Stories on CleanTechnica:
- China Leading US in Renewable Energy Investment Attractiveness (Top 10 Lists)
- China Adding 500 Gigawatts of Renewable Power by 2020!
- Canadian Solar Headed to China to Build Two 600-MW Solar Technology Plants
- China to Cut Nuclear & Increase Solar Power Goals after Japan Crisis
- Wow, China IS Serious About Clean Energy!
- China Moving Forward on World’s Largest Solar Roof
Photo via International Rivers
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on your favorite social network, go to: zacharyshahan.com