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China moves to phase 2 in solar demand generation – Distributed Solar to follow Utility Solar

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China emphasizes on Distributed Solar now

China is going to push rooftop solar generation, which is falling behind utility solar generation. Most countries which have seen massive solar installations such as Germany, Spain etc. have started to give subsidies to rooftop distributed solar generation only. This is because giant solar farms reward only the large investors, who can afford to spend millions of dollars in building capital intensive solar farms. It also puts a lot of pressure on the power grid, as solar electricity is intermitted. While rooftop solar power does not remove this problem, it helps since a lot of the power can be self-consumed thus lowering the pressure on the grid.

Most countries start out with utility solar since the costs are less and it is easy to create large capacities in a short period of time. Financing and selling power is also easier. Regulatory hurdlers are lower, as utilities and the governments have to plan on how to purchase and use the rooftop solar power. Net metering and other policies need to develop to ensure a stable fair framework for rooftop residential and commercial solar power. But too much utility solar power is not a great idea in the long run. That is the reason why as the countries mature in their use of solar power, they put more emphasis on distributed rooftop solar generation. China after putting a more than 10 GWs of solar utility plants last year, has announced that it will put up 8 GW of distributed solar power in 2014. However that target is far from being met, as it requires much more detailing and support from local governments, regulators and utilities. China is planning to push ahead by encouraging local government bodies to promote solar generation. It will also promote the use of rooftop solar panels on government buildings such as airports and railway stations.

China suffers from unbelievable amounts of pollution as unbridled industrial growth, lax safety regulations has led to pollution and unsafe factories. The government wants to reduce the usage of dirty coal power and solar power is the ideal solution. It has become more attractive with very cheap costs, with solar panels in China available at 51-53c/watt which is the lowest anywhere in the world. Big solar companies such as Yingli Green Energy have already started to put more emphasis on the large growing segment.


Chinese solar manufacturers climbed on news the world’s biggest supplier of photovoltaic panels may announce policies as soon as this month to encourage businesses to install the technology on rooftops.Under the policies, the National Energy Administration would call for local planners to add more projects in regions where electricity can be distributed to customers living nearby, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly.

The government will focus on supporting the development of so-called distributed solar power projects in industrial zones and at industrial and commercial companies with large rooftops. Big consumers of electricity will also be encouraged to develop solar projects as a way to reduce power costs.

China will encourage local governments to offer extra subsidies for distributed solar power investments and increase support for the projects at schools, hospitals and rural areas, said the people. The country last year introduced a subsidy of 0.42 yuan (7 U.S. cents) a kilowatt-hour for the projects.Installations of solar panels will be promoted on public infrastructure such as railway stations and airport terminals. Solar projects built on abandoned land and hills, agricultural greenhouses, inter-tidal zones, fishponds and lakes and connected to grids with low voltage will enjoy preferential tariffs, the people said.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. pramod ranjan arora

    Rooftop solar PV has several advantages over utility projects. Millions of peoples have role in generating electricity hence individual is contributing towards capital cost . It does not require land, transmission and distribution lines. Sum of total capacity of Solar rooftop PV is equivalent to several big plants.