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Trina sees PV market to grow sharply

TRINA Solar Ltd, a leading solar product maker, expects China to account for 10 percent of the global photovoltaic market in three years to five years from less than 1 percent now as the government boosts support for the alternative energy.

"It's possible if we say, by 2012, China's installed solar PV capacity could reach 2.5 gigawatts while it would be 25GW for the world," Gao Jifan, Trina's chairman and CEO, said.

Although China is the world's top PV manufacturer, the domestic solar PV market has suffered from high costs and limited subsidies.

The Ministry of Finance said late last month that China would provide a subsidy of 20 yuan (US$2.93) per watt for solar projects that have a capacity of at least 50 kilowatts and attached to buildings, covering nearly half the cost.

Gao said the subsidy is a "precursor" of a long-term state support, although some analysts said the latest subsidy was limited to roof-top solar panels and not for large-scale solar projects.

New York-listed Trina, which is based in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, expects to sell 10 megawatts in China this year out of a planned total shipment of up to 400MW of solar modules, Gao said.

In 2008, the domestic market accounted for only a bit more than 1 percent of its shipment of 201MW.

The United States market could account for 15 percent of Trina's sales this year, up from less than 5 percent in 2008, thanks to the Obama administration's backing of renewable energy sources, he said.

Trina is not in a hurry to acquire assets but is looking at opportunities, according to Gao who said Europe would remain a top market.


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