Reacting to China's Goal of 49 GW of Renewables in 2013
Information coming out of China about its renewable energy plans, and prospects for both domestic and international suppliers hoping to continue riding one of the world's most optimistic growth markets, have commanded headlines in the early weeks of 2013.
China plans to add 49 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity in 2013: 21 GW of hydropower, 18 GW of wind, and 10 GW of solar, according to its National Energy Administration [here's the PR in Chinese, and here's a Googlized English translation].Domestic solar panel makers are optimistic. Trina Solar recently said shipments will surge 30 percent in 2013, and Jinko Solar expects a 20-30 percent jump in shipments, on hopes that global demand is rising — gains in Asia (most notably domestically in China), plus regions including the U.S. and Asia, should offset declines in Europe — and price decreases could slow or cease later this year. Yingli Green Energy, which topped a record 2.2 GW in shipments in 2012, enters 2013 with expectations of downstream expansion.Investors quickly responded with renewed interest in the battered sector; Suntech and LDK saw an upswell of investor support. Underlying concerns remain, though, about the financial viability of domestic solar manufacturers in a severely and government-fed market.
ON THE HORIZON
India's "Climate Parliament" Seeks Financial Measures for Renewable Energy: The Climate Parliament group of Parliament has asked Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to incorporate a series of financial measures for renewable energy in the 2013-14 budget, to ensure fully meeting targets set in the National Action Plan of Climate Change (NAPCC) and in the draft 12 Plan document. The group claims the actual budget allocated to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in 2012-13 was only half of the budget proposed — causing "serious setbacks" for the first phase of the National Solar Mission. The NAPCC calls for 15 percent renewable energy in the total electricity mix of the country by 2020, and 30 GW by 2017 — more than the double of the capacity addition targeted in the last five-year plan.Japan Set to Mull Clean Energy Tariff: A five-member committee appointed by the Japanese government begins talks this week on setting above-market rates for clean energy project applications, for the new fiscal year starting April 1. Japan began an incentive program in July to promote renewable energy generation from resources such as solar, wind, and biomass; the current feed-in tariffs — 42 yen per kilowatt hour for 20 years for solar, and 23.1 yen per kWh for wind — expire at the end of March.IRENA to Double Global Renewable Energy Capacity by 2030, Welcomes China: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released several announcements at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. Besides ratifying its headquarters in the United Arab Emirates, IRENA, formally established in 2011, launched an ambitious goal dubbed "REMAP 2030" to double global renewable energy capacity by 2030.A DEEPER LOOKChina's PV Demand Altering Landscape for Balance-of-System Suppliers: Aggressive PV adoption targets set by the Chinese government — exceeding 7 GW demand this year and a projected pipeline of 35 GW — spells opportunity for suppliers of balance-of-system (BoS) component suppliers, in a market historically closed to foreign suppliers, according to NPD Solarbuzz. The Chinese BoS market is projected to be CNY 19.5 billion (US $3.1 billion) and grow to roughly CNY 25B (USD $4 billion) by 2017, the firm predicts.