China plans a major solar spree
A solar-panel manufacturing blitz by Chinese companies has left a glut in the market, driving down prices for photovoltaic systems.
And China thinks that’s a pretty good excuse to throw itself a huge solar party.
The government has announced plans to add 10 gigawatts of solar capacity each year for three years. That would take advantage of cheap prices and help the country’s manufacturers move product in a difficult market. From Reuters:
China aims to more than quadruple solar power generating capacity to 35 gigawatts by 2015 in an apparent bid to ease a massive glut in the domestic solar panel industry.
The target has been stated previously by the State Grid, which manages the country’s electricity distribution, but now has the official backing of the State Council, the country’s cabinet and its top governing body.
The sector has been hit hard by the excess capacity, falling government subsidies and trade disputes. Manufacturers have been hemorrhaging cash and struggling with mounting debts as panel prices fell by two thirds over the past couple of years.
Moving stockpiled panels out of warehouses and putting them to use providing clean energy should be a win-win. And if the move helps alleviate the global panel glut that’s been plaguing the solar industry, then make that a win-win-win.