China Releases 12th Five-Year Plan for Solar Power Development

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Sept. 19 – China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) officially released the “12th Five-Year Plan on Solar Power Development (guonengxinneng [2012] No.194, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Plan’)” on September 12, aiming to reasonably control the country’s total energy consumption and achieve its ‘non-fossil energy’ goal. The Plan summarizes the current status of solar power development in China and sets out the key development objectives for the 12th Five-Year Plan period; moreover, it puts forward the main tasks and the estimated investment on solar power for the said period.

Current situation

In recent years, significant developments have been achieved in the industry of solar photovoltaic cell production, specifically:

Photovoltaic cell production industry has expanded

The photovoltaic cell production of the Mainland amounted to 10,000 megawatts by 2010, taking up 50 percent of the global market share, with five enterprises making the global top 10.

Diversified domestic market has been initiated rapidly

The total installed capacity of photovoltaic cell reached 860 megawatts by 2010, among which, the large-scale grid-connected photovoltaic power plants and the power generation systems integrated with buildings contributed 450 megawatts and 260 megawatts, respectively.

Industrial service system has gradually improved

The standard, inspection, and accreditation system for solar cell products has been preliminary established.

Development objectives by 2015

  • Installed capacity of solar power projects will amount to more than 21,000 megawatts, with the annual power generation capacity reaching 25,000,000 megawatts.
  • Total installed capacity of distributed photovoltaic generation will achieve 10,000 megawatts in Eastern and Central China by focusing on the establishment of distributed photovoltaic generation systems in such areas.
  • Total installed capacity of 10,000 megawatts of grid-connected photovoltaic power plants will be established to increase local electrical power supply in the regions with rich solar resources and uncultivated land resources, such as Qinghai, Xinjiang, Gansu and Inner Mongolia.

Moreover, the Plan expects that the total installed capacity of solar power will reach 50,000 megawatts by 2020, with the solar power industry reaching international advanced level.

Main tasks by 2015

As provided by the Plan, there are nine main tasks for the 12th Five-Year plan period, which are:

  • Orderly promoting the construction of solar power plants
  • Vigorously promoting the distributed solar photovoltaic power generation
  • Establishing new energy micro-grid demonstration projects
  • Creating new energy model cities
  • Improving the technological innovation system for solar power
  • Improving the continued competitiveness of solar power products
  • Establishing and improving the solar power industry system
  • Facilitating the healthy development of the photovoltaic industry
  • Actively carrying out international cooperation

Investment estimation

During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, China will add 10,000 megawatts of installed capacity of solar photovoltaic power plants, around 1,000 megawatts of installed capacity of solar thermal power generation systems, and about 10,000 megawatts of distributed photovoltaic power generation. The plan suggests the investment in solar power generation is expected to reach RMB250 billion.

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