Despite slower demand from Europe, the expanded use of solar energy in China, the United States and Japan is estimated to help boost global new capacity installation by 20 percent to 36.7 gigawatts (GW) this year.
For 2014, China will continue to play a pivotal role in the market. The National Energy Administration is targeting 12 GW of new capacity next year, about 27 percent of the estimated global new capacity, according to a China Securities Journal report.
Beijing previously announced supportive policies for the solar energy industry to boost market demand, financing access as well as product quality, jumpstarting the recovery of the sector. Enforcement of targets is set to ensure further momentum.
Large-scale solar farms in remote Western China have been major producers of renewable energy in the country this year, but the high costs and difficulties of transmitting power to major markets in Eastern China have led to a gradual shift in emphasis to smaller on-site projects. This trend will become more dominant next year.
These so-called distributed projects account for about one third of China’s new solar power capacity this year. In 2014, the energy authority wants the share to jump to two thirds.
To attract and assist potential investors, usually rooftop owners as well as small and medium-sized contractors, more specific measures to help them raise funding and control project risks could be on the way.
From about 7 GW in 2012, China’s solar energy installed capacity is expected to more than double to 16.5 GW by end of this year and further increase to 28-29 GW in 2014.
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