PV goes commercial rooftop in China
The Chinese Energy Ministry has approved the first round of large-scale projects for on-site generation. The goal is to step up distributed solar and the roof sector, as opposed to ground-mounted systems.
Market analysts at NPD SolarBuzz of the US say that demand for solar arrays in China will increase considerably. In the second half of the year, demand in China and Japan will increase to nine gigawatts, twice as much as in the first six months and equivalent to 70 percent growth year over year. China and Japan now make up more than 40 percent of global PV demand. Solarbuzz says the record PV shipments to China and Japan are also increasing margins for companies, and the end of the consolidation phase is nigh, with uncompetitive manufacturers increasingly leaving the market. As Finlay Colvill, vice president of NPD Solarbuzz, points out, leading providers still had conservative forecasts for 2013, but they are growing optimistic in terms of both sales volumes and margins for 2014.
China is expected to be the largest sales market for developers of solar power projects. Beijing now plans to address the main problem that has affected project developers – delayed publication of feed-in tariffs and financing for solar plants. Before the year's end, additional directives are to be announced to remedy these problems.
Beijing mainly plans to provide faster permits for commercial roof projects in order to step up on-site generation and distributed solar power. Project developers who won bids promised to keep direct consumption above 70 percent. Beijing is clearly changing the focus away from ground-mounted projects, which began losing ground in the second quarter of this year according to NPD Solarbuzz. But the researchers say distributed solar power is just about to get going with these new projects. (Sven Ullrich / Craig Morris)