China has set a new target for installed solar energy capacity to 21GW by 2015. The National Energy Administration (NEA) of the country has targeted an increase of 40 per cent in both photovoltaic and concentrating solar power.
China is the largest exporter of photovoltaic products in the world and houses firms such as Suntech Power and LDK Solar. In August 2011, the country facilitated standardised tariffs for energy fed into the national grid, thereby reducing costs for solar power developers.
Documents do not specify individual targets for solar photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP). The NEA announced solar and other renewable energy goals as part of the 12th Five-Year Plan for Renewable Energy Development.
State media of China has also reported that the country’s biggest energy producers and grid companies will be allotted minimum limit for using renewable sources of energy, as a means to help the solar firms.
China’s solar thermal market represented 81 per cent of the total global market in 2010 and 49 million square metres were installed that year alone. It had 168 million square metres of solar thermal collectors installed by the end of this year.
The new goal of National Energy Administration (NEA) for installed solar capacity is much higher than the 15 GW as reported by the state media late last year. More than double the 10 GW target was set after the nuclear crisis in Japan in March 2011.
The NEA said that renewable energy would amount to 478 million tonnes of standard coal by 2015, accounting for more than 9.5 per cent of China’s total energy consumption. Targets for hydropower capacity is unchanged at 290 GW by 2015, with 260 GW from normal hydropower plants and 30 GW from pumped storage hydropower stations. Goals for grid connected wind power have also been kept at 100 GW by 2015, with 5 GW from wind farms on the sea.