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China Solar Installations Well Ahead Of Expectations, Says Deutsche Bank

Earlier this week, China’s National Energy Administration revealed that the country had installed 5.04 GW of new solar capacity in the first quarter of 2015 — over half of what the country installed in 2013 and in 2014, and well above analysts’ expectations.

Deutsche Bank analyst Vishal Shah commented on the announcement in a market research note this week, pointing to “positive momentum” in the Chinese solar market and the possibility for “upside surprise” to the government’s installation target for 2015 of 17.8 GW.

On Monday, I wrote that “China may find itself hitting a solar installation lull as a result of decreased investment” expected in an analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. However, according to Deutsche Bank’s Vishal Shah, the Chinese government is going out of its way to streamline processes that might help the country well exceed previous years’ end-of-year figures, and reach — if not exceed — this year’s target of 17.8 GW.

According to Shah, the Chinese government “is proactively reaching out to the leading solar companies in order to streamline the [Feed-in Tariff] payment process and shorten this time from 9 months to 3-6 months.” In addition, Shah notes that “several provinces are in the process of allocating the 17.8 GW target for this year” already.

All of this leads Deutsche Bank analysts to conclude that China has “the potential to exceed 20 GW” in 2015.

China installed 4.38 GW of utility-scale power in Q1’15, and another 660 MW of distributed generation solar, bringing their cumulative totals up to 27.79 GW and 5.3 GW respectively, totaling 33.12 GW for the country.

Deutsche Bank therefore believes that a further 5 GW of new installations are set to be brought online in Q2’15.


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