New policies support China’s ailing solar industry

October 28, 2012 7:09 am


File photo shows a staff worker patrolling at a photovoltaic power station in Yanchi County of Wuzhong City/XINHUA
BEIJING, Oct 28 – China is creating supportive measures to shore up its ailing photovoltaic (PV) industry, which has been rocked by recent US duties on Chinese exports over alleged dumping.

In the latest attempt, State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the country’s largest state-owned utility company, announced a plan to allow small-scale distributed solar power generators to connect to its power lines.

Under the plan, SGCC will allow solar power generators with less than 6 megawatts of installed capacity to be connected to the grid.

SGCC will also provide technological assistance and waive charges associated with connecting to the grid, Wang Xiangqin, SGCC deputy chief economist, said.

The move will boost domestic demand and buoy the solar industry, which had heavily relied on overseas markets, analysts said.

Connecting distributed solar power to the national grid is a “crucial step” in removing obstacles that have contained the development of China’s solar industry, said Shi Lishan, deputy director of the new and renewable energy department of the National Energy Administration (NEA).

Connecting to the national power grid has been difficult for many solar power companies, as there are numerous obstacles preventing them from easily doing so.

China’s push for more renewable energy has created thorny integration issues for the operators of the country’s bulk-power network because of a lack of control and variability in energy resources.

Distributed generation, however, will offer a solution.

Compared with centralized generation, which connects distant solar or wind facilities to customers, distributed generation will cause less damage to the grid and decrease transmission losses, said Lai Xiaokang from the China Electric Power Research Institute.

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