China, which is already the world's biggest supplier of solar power panels, has quadrupled its domestic installation goal for sun- derived energy projects to 21 gigawatts by 2015 to help absorb excess supply of panels and support prices.
Renewable Energy World reports that China had planned 5 gigawatts of capacity in the five years through 2015 and 20 gigawatts by 2020. The government has considered an increase since last year as solar panel makers led by Suntech Power Holdings Co. and Trina Solar Ltd. suffer from cuts in European subsidies and a global supply glut that drove prices lower.
“With a significant tumble in photovoltaic prices, the timetable for mass use is ahead of time,” said Lian Rui, a senior analyst for the research company Solarbuzz. “The new target is still very conservative; we expect the installation to surpass 30 gigawatts.”
Solar module prices have plunged about 42 percent to the current $0.87 a watt from a year earlier, squeezing profit margins of manufacturers, according Bloomberg New Energy Finance data.