TAIWAN: EnergyTrend , a research division of TrendForce , indicated in their “Silver Member Report” that considering China’s actual demand for solar power in 2013 (4.5GW-6GW) and demands brought by the Golden Sun Program subsidy plan as well as PV plants in Western China in 2012, the 2013 total grid-connected power could be up to 10GW.
Although the government set a 10GW target at the beginning of 2013, the actual demand will be only 4.5~6GW; therefore, the Chinese market may not be able to consume 10GW modules this year.
Nevertheless, considering the global actual demand, China is still one of the world’s top three solar markets (accounting for around 17 percent of the global market).
To solve abandoned power issues, Chinese government purchases power instead of implementing the Golden Sun program
China’s solar installation demands mainly come from large-scale solar power plants, photovoltaic buildings, and the Golden Sun Program demonstration project. Though the total demand from the above three sources could be up to 12GW, the actual demand was disappointing.
Projects approved by the government are concentrated in the second half of the year when climatic factors usually affect the construction progress; the grid standard and subsidy policy were just settled in the fourth quarter of last year, which shakes customers’ confidence and hinders the business; companies did not receive subsidy after installing grid-connected systems, so they are not able to launch new projects. Due to the above reasons, grid installations in the market have been delayed.
They plan to invest mainly in distributed systems and western large-scale power plants in 2013. On the other hand, in order to make up for the financial gap caused by previous solar installations, China's Ministry of Finance announced that starting at the end of March, they will pre-allocate subsidies for renewable energy and issue a capital of 2.43 billion RMB (16 percent of the total renewable power subsidy) for solar installations.
TrendForce indicated that because plans for improving solar system installations were first set in 2012, numerous issues regarding the process are yet to be resolved. In 2013, however, as supporting measures of the central policy, local governments, and grid companies become more effective, China’s on-grid installations may top their past record.
In addition, Chinese government should invest more in the supply chain by announcing market access requirement, encouraging M&A, reducing local government intervention, and distributing capital according to the market mechanism. Only when a balance is reached between supply and demand will the global solar industry recover from the market downturn.
First-tier manufacturer Yingli, for example, plans to increase the number of shipments to China in 2013 by approximately 40 percent (accounting for approximately 23 percent of their total number of shipments); Trina’s shipments to China will increase from 2012’s 12.9 percent to 15-20 percent (percentage based on their total amount of shipments); 35 percent of Jinko’s modules will be shipped to China.
It is clear that Chinese manufacturers will still be the ones that benefit the most from the 10GW grid power demand brought by China’s policy.