China has set its sights on a 20% increase in new solar-electric capacity over 2015, with an 18.1-gigawatt cap on large installations for 2016, PV Tech reports.
The cap excludes building-integrated photovoltaic, rooftop, and self-consumption projects, PV Tech reports.
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A leaked document from the country’s National Energy Association, copied to the National Development and Reform Council, establishes a ceiling of 12.6 GW for new large-scale photovoltaics, with an additional 5.5 GW for so-called “top runner” projects, involving cells that achieve at least 16.5% efficiency with polycrystalline cells or 17% with monocrystalline.
Six companies—Trina Solar, Jinko, JA Solar, Risen Energy, GCL Systems, and Canadian Solar—are currently approved for top runner status.
Three provinces with serious curtailment problems—Gansu, Yunnan, and Xinjiang—have been deemed ineligible for solar projects for this year. “Excluding various provinces is highly likely due to the prevailing grid curtailment and demonstrates the government’s acute awareness of, and determination to tackle this issue,” Beijing-based solar consultant Frank Haugwitz told PV Tech. Even so, “18.1 GW, if realized, would mean the market would grow by 20% year-on-year.”
The set-aside for top runners will be based on competitive bidding, a move that “changes the regulatory landscape of China’s domestic market,” Haugwitz added. If the effort succeeds, China will likely allot a higher share of future production to top runners, a move that could force smaller producers to consolidate their operations.