China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) had announced to install 15GW of solar power in 2015 in February. The huge number was revised up to a more tremendous one, 17.8GW, in the newest-released PV development plan. The new ANNOUNCEMENT focuses on further loosening restrictions of distributed generation (DG) systems, and strict examinations into progresses of both ground-mounted and DG installations.
The ANNOUNCEMENT clearly stipulates the PV installation capacity scheme province by province. As the general consensus ascribe the failure of 2014’s DG installation target -- only 26% realized-- to incomplete measures, unwinding restrictions of PV systems’ locations, types and capacities becomes one of the major parts of the ANNOUNCEMENT.
The new policy not only loosens limitations on rooftop and ground-mounted DG systems’ installation capacities to as large as 20MW, it also eliminates location restrictions. Under the ANNOUNCEMENT, PV projects built for ecosystem management, agricultural and aquacultural construction and poverty-focused development assistance will fall into the DG category. Moreover, those DG systems are allowed to be installed on distant sites from owners. The new definitions can be solutions to the shortage of rooftops.
It also revealed advanced managing mechanism and schedule. PV projects will all be evaluated monthly, adjusted quarterly and reviewed yearly. There are three particular occasions for projects review:
- April: Almost-finished PV projects that comply 2014’s standards are required to be completely constructed by the end of April. PV projects that aren’t complied 2014’s standards, and those that are not expected to be completed by April, will be forced to stop construction and are required to submit new plans for 2015.
- July: to evaluate feasibility for local PV projects to expand installations. Regions that surpass the original targets could raise their installation capacity.
- October: the China government will start to review accomplishments of all PV projects. Regions that fail to connect at least 50% of installed capacity to the gird will face reduction of next year’s capacity limits.
Angus Kao, analyst of EnergyTrend, said, “To achieve the new target, new PV constructions need to start in May or June, or it may again fail.”