Solar boom triggers China to increase 2015 targets by 40%

Clare Saxon Ghauri
9 August 2012

BEIJING: China continues its leadership in renewable energy development and installation, as a Government agency announces the nation has increased its 2015 installed solar capacity targets by 40%, owing to low costs boosting the solar sector.

China's National Energy Administration (NEA) has set a new goal of 21 gigawatts for installed solar capacity in 2015, a target which is much higher than the 15 gigawatts announced last year.

Already the world’s largest exporter of photovoltaic products and home to industry leaders like Hanergy and Suntech, China is also experiencing a solar boom thanks to the standardized tariffs which came into action last year.

Cheaper costs from the new tariffs caused an estimated quadrupling of installed solar power capacity in 2011. With both technology improvement and cost reduction, solar energy is expected to play an increasingly significant role in reducing China's reliance on fossil fuels in the future.

NEA stated that clean energy will account for more than 9.5% of China’s total energy consumption by 2015, but that targets for wind (100 gigawatts) and hydropower (290 gigawatts) will remain the same.

"I am delighted to see that China continues to inspire others in our race to the top in clean energy development," said Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group. "The clarity of policy incentives offers confidence to leading solar technology companies and investors to invest in the clean energy sector. Sector leaders like Hanergy and others are expected to be among the biggest winners.”

Also announced by the NEA, is China’s 2015 plans to establish 100 clean energy model cities, 200 green counties and 30 clean energy demonstration projects.

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