Changhua Wu: There are still many lessons to be learned in China's solar PV industry

26 June 2013

Changhua Wu is the Greater China Director of The Climate Group. In her blog, Changhua comments on Chinese climate policy and the growth of clean technologies; in short, sharing China's own Clean Revolution. Here, she comments on the solar sector development that Premier Li Keqiang called for in China last week.

Changhua writes:

At the most recent State Council executive meeting, Premier Li Keqiang, who was chairing the meeting, announced that China will be accelerating development of China’s PV industry.

Throughout the meeting, it was noted that the focus should be on steady growth and structural adjustment, and several initiatives were put forward that will go some way in expanding domestic demand and building the Chinese economy.

But while the meeting participants recognized that the Chinese photovoltaic (PV) industry is an important new energy sector -- one which is internationally competitive at that -- the downturn in the global PV market and the insufficient impact of current domestic production, aligned with management difficulties, pose a real challenge.

Because of this, we must continue to support the photovoltaic industry and nurture its healthy development by consolidating the international market, pushing for effective reform, and further focusing on demand stimulus. We should also strive to promote industrial innovation and upgrading across China.

Since the 2008 global financial crisis and economic downturn, China's PV industry has experienced new challenges in the international market. To counteract this, Golden Sun helped many PV companies by creating opportunities and experiences in the domestic market. Golden Sun is a national solar subsidy program of China’s Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Energy Administration of the National Development and Reform Commission, which provides upfront subsidies for qualified demonstrative PV projects. 

In recent years, through the Golden Sun demonstration project, China has accumulated a wealth of data and experiences within domestic PV enterprises, and this has had a major impact on product quality, applications and engineering design level.

Meanwhile, internationally, North America and Europe continue to develop too, making the market more competitive: China and the EU wish to be the fuse which sparks the global fire.

As costs continue to decline, China and some EU countries have begun reducing subsidies, a policy which has allowed enterprises to continuously develop and enhance their competitiveness.

There are clearly still many lessons to be learned on solar in China, but with both government and business collaboration, we will make strides towards a strong and economically viable industry.

Read more on Changhua Wu's blog.

Related news:

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China unveils pioneering carbon trading scheme in Shenzhen

New Premier Li Keqiang pledges to use ‘iron fist’ on China’s pollution

China invested $65.1 billion in clean energy in 2012

China’s leadership transition: ready to drive the clean revolution

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