Solar Capacity in  China China has repeatedly increased the Solar capacity targets since the last one year as solar panel prices have crashed making solar power increasingly affordable. Note China installs the largest amount of electricity capacity each year at around 100 GW. 80% of China’s power comes from dirty polluting thermal power plants. This […]

China add the most electricity capacity annually in the world at around 100 GW and its total electricity generation capacity is second only to the USA which it will surpass in the next few years. China is highly dependent on thermal power for its energy needs which is becoming scarce and expensive by the day. Not to speak of the big disadvantages of coal as a fuel which causes thousands of deaths each year. Solar Energy has now reached grid parity in many parts of the world thanks to the low cost cheap solar panels being made by Chinese solar panel producers. With many countries now thinking of putting an anti dumping duty on Chiense solar modules, the government is looking to boost domestic demand . Chinese solar panel Tier 1 players like LDK, Suntech, Trina and Yingli besides some others are the biggest beneficiaries of this new solar policy from China.

Chinese Wind Turbine Companies have unleashed a global price war in which Western producers are unable to compete.While Solar Panel producers in the West are dying like flies,Western WTG Makers too face survival questions.Vestas which is the world’s biggest turbine company in terms of installations announced another revenue shortfall for the nth time in the last couple of years.The company has already restructed ,reduce workforce etc etc.However the price competition from the Asian companies is too severe and too sustained for Vestas to surive too long.Like First Solar,Vestas seems a likely candidate for takeover by one of the big industrial conglomerates.It has become too tough for a renewable energy company in the West to survive on their own.

China installed almost 50% of the world’s wind power energy capacity in 2010 as its market exploded from almost nothing to around 18 GW.China’s massive energy needs and its growing emissions and pollution problems have led to strong tailwinds for the wind industry.This has also led to the growth of a massive domestic industry which has led to 8 Chinese Wind Turbine Producers among the top 15 global WTG suppliers.Now China is looking to make major inroads into offshore wind energy which is dominated by Europe.China has the only offshore wind farm in Asia off Shanghai and is looking to rapidly ramp up as its energy needs keep growing.With more than 70% of China’s electricity coming from dirty coal and the country already consuming 3 billion tons of coal a year,energy sources have to be diversified urgently.

The Chinese Wind Industry has around 80 wind turbine companies many of which are quite small and don’t’ have the money and expertise to compete in the international markets.Though the Chinese dominate the top global wind turbine companies list with 7 of the top 15 WTG companies Chinese,many are not competitive.Sinovel which has become the largest wind turbine company has recently canceled order for Electrical Control Systems from American Superconductor citing high inventory.Other Wind Turbine companies are in even more trouble as the industry suffers from huge overcapacity.The Chinese Wind Capacity has grown at 100% CAGR to reach 18 GW in 2010.However this strong growth has led to saturation of the wind market and price wars are being seen in China.Exports to other countries have been difficult as the cost of transportation of Wind Turbines is high.Besides Chinese Wind Companies don’t possess strong technology and quality unlike established ones like Vestas,Gamesa,GE and Siemens.Though Dongfang and Shanghai Electric have managed to win some Turbine Orders in India,the export percentage is negligible.Wind Power in India too has reached a stable growth level and a number of wind companes in India are fighting for marketshare as well.

China has been rewriting its renewable energy plan in the wake of the Fukushima Nuclear Energy Disaster in Japan.Note there has been a strong global backlash against nuclear energy around the world and 7 nuclear plants in Germany have been closed all but in name.Other countries like South Korea,Italy,Switzerland are rethinking of what do about their nuclear reactors giving the massive tail risks with nuclear generation.China had a target of only 20 GW of solar by 2020 has decided to raise the target by 150% to 50 GW according to the country’s leading energy planning authority NRDC.Note China installed more than 15 GW of Wind Energy in 2010 alone becoming the world’s largest Wind Energy Market by far.Solar Energy strongly lags Wind in China despite China having the biggest solar panel manufacturing industry in the world.Its Golden Sun and other Solar Subsidy programs have been small in absolute terms compared to its huge electricity capacity.