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August 18, 2017

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China to beat solar power installed goal

CHINA will exceed its target for installing solar power as costs decline and transmission becomes more efficient, UBS said yesterday.

While the National Energy Administration pledged last year that China’s installed solar power capacity will total at 110 gigawatts by 2020, the actual amount may rise to 225 gigawatts as the nation is adding 37-39 gigawatts annually, said Alex Liu, an analyst specializing in energy and public utilities at UBS.

China has installed 77.42 gigawatts of solar power by the end of last year, while adding 37-39 gigawatts every year from 2017 to 2020 encouraged by efforts to improve transmission efficiency while costs fall, Liu said.

In the first half of this year China added 23.6 gigawatts of installed solar capacity, up 34.2 percent from a year ago. This has already surpassed expectations as many analysts predicted at the start of the year that China may add only 20-25 gigawatts for the whole year, Liu said.

The installation hasn’t slowed, as polysilicon producers such as Tongwei Group announced they are producing at full capacity until September. Polysilicon is the raw material for solar panels.

The upbeat mood was helped by the average 15 percent annual fall in the cost of erecting solar farms, given that solar cells cost US$1.4 per watt in 2010, while producers only paid 56.8 US cents per watt for them in 2015, said China Power Enterprise Management, a magazine run by China Electricity Council.

China will add nine ultra high voltage transmission lines to boost the power distribution efficiency between this year and next, the State Grid Corp said.


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