China will likely fall far short of its goal of delivering 35 gigawatts of new solar capacity by the end of 2015, according to a researcher at the country’s National Development and Reform Commission.
“Many of the plants being built are more designed to please central planners in Beijing than of real practical use,” business journalist Doug Young writes, suggesting that a slowdown this year from a target of 14 GW to likely output of about 10 “certainly doesn’t look good for big domestic names” like Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Ltd. and Trina Solar.
Young suggests a cluster of issues with China’s solar boom. “Many of these projects would be built in remote locations that would have difficulty delivering power to China’s central grid,” he says. Due to a quirk in the country’s power pricing system, “some developers started using the build-up program to make some quick money.” And customer uptake has been slower than expected.
“These kinds of shenanigans and logistical problems certainly aren’t unique to China,” he writes. “But in this case they’re quite acute, due to Beijing’s desire to ramp up solar power output so quickly despite its lack of experience.”