EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, indicates that global PV demand will be around 42GW in 2014, a 17% rise compares to 2013. As China announced a series of PV and grid-connection policies, Chinese PV demand increases substantially. Chinese companies have started to shift their focus to the domestic market. “Chinese PV market is likely to be the lead in 2014 or be the first one to reach 10GW PV installations in the world,” said Jason Huang, research manager of EnergyTrend.
The Chinese government has been releasing PV policies to promote the industry development since the end of 2013. Policies are mainly related to power generation management, operation, and subsidy. Policies such as “The notice of temporary distributed PV project management regulation”, “The temporary PV operation and supervision regulation”, and “The notice of liquidating 2012 gold sun and PV building demonstration projects” complete the PV standards within China. Also, it lays foundation for the rapid PV system development in 2014.
China plans to put their focus on distributed PV systems in 2014. However, due to the incomplete financial support, development, and audit process, EnergyTrend believes that instead of leaning toward distributed PV systems right away, China will put equal attention on utility-scale and distributed PV projects at the moment.
Aside from the Chinese government’s subsidies on distributed PV systems, provincial and municipal sectors have proposed subsidy plans to stimulate local development to attract more system developers and investment. Yet, whether subsidy condition and amount is reasonable still needs to be assessed since these types of subsidy policies will be viewed as a way to subsidize local companies, but it may be an obstacle for non-local enterprises.
Other than the PV system operation and subsidy policies, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) officially announced in the end of 2013 the first-batch company list that matched “PV manufacturing standard condition”. All first-tier manufacturers, totaling 109 companies, were in the list as expected. Calculating each company once only, there were 11 polysilicon manufacturers, with the number of silicon brick, ingot, and wafer manufacturers being 16, 14, and 28, respectively. In addition, there were 40 cell manufacturers and 43 module companies. These companies can receive benefits such as bank loan support and government export tax rebate. But the total number of companies may exceed 109 because more vertically integrated companies are located in China. Among all, cell and module manufacturers still represented the most while the industrial concentration for upstream manufacturers have become more obvious. It’s believed that the Chinese government will continue to release relevant PV policies, thus Chinese PV companies will still focus on merger and acquisition in 2014.