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China May Again See A Monster Surge In Solar Energy Installs In First Half of 2017

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Solar Installalions in Q1’17 in China

China saw a monstrous surge in solar energy installations in the first half of 2016 as attractive feed in tariffs made solar developers go all out to put up as many solar panels as they could. This led to an incredible 30 GW of solar capacity being installed around the country. To give an indication of size, India which is the 3rd largest solar market is going to install less panels in the whole year than China did each month in the first half of 2016.

Read more about the Biggest Chinese Solar Players.

The market saw a big lull in July as the feed in tariffs fell and the developers went into hibernation. The solar panel prices crashed as there was a big demand hole with no country coming even close to meeting the demand generation by China. Even now many solar companies are deep in the red with thousands of workers being fired. Though prices seem to have somewhat stabilized and demand seems to be returning, some companies have been terribly affected.

solar farm

China is again setting up itself to see a huge surge in first half installations in 2017 in preparation for the yearly cut in July. The sharp fall in solar prices means that developers can now earn an attractive return on capital and they will again use this opportunity to massively install giant solar power plants around the Middle Kingdom. Note many of these solar farms are lying idle for lack of transmission capacity with reports that some provinces like Gansu are seeing curtailment for 40% of the solar capacity.

You might also like to read our list on the 12 Biggest and Best Solar Panel Companies In The World.

With cheap credit and reasonable returns, you could see another 30 GW of installs in China during the first half. Though the Chinese government has sharply reduced its target for the next 4 years to 110 GW from 150 GW earlier, this does not mean a thing, if the FIT continues to give good returns to solar panel investors.

As per reports, polysilicon imports into China have increased rapidly and poly prices are firming up to $16-17/kg after falling to $12-13/kg in July. This means that there is big demand coming from downstream cell and module makers who are running up the inventory to prepare for huge sales to developers. This might mean that solar cell and panel prices could inch up in the next 6 months before again falling in the second half of 2017.


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

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