China has announced that it has sanctioned over 20 GW of solar and wind projects as part of its strategy to install unsubsidized renewable energy projects in the country.
This initial batch of subsidy-free projects was released by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the National Energy Administration (NEA).
The 20.76 GW of capacity has been fragmented into wind (4.51 GW), solar PV (14.78 GW) and distributed trading pilot projects (1.47 GW). The declared solar grid parity projects have been distributed across 16 provinces with Guangdong taking the lead at 2.38 GW.
Frank Haugwitz, the director of Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory Co. Ltd (AECEA), remarked, “14.78 GW of solar projects consists of 168 projects, with the average project capacity being approximately 90 MW. The latter is surprising, given that the capacities of the recent grid parity projects were in the triple-digit MW range, often between 200 MW to 300 MW and up to 700 MW.
As per Frank, “AECEA assumes that the less than 100 MW average capacity of these grid parity projects might have been influenced by last year’s module price erosion as well, given that the majority of projects are within provinces that are home to comparatively high retail electricity tariffs, which enables the execution of such projects. If one takes a closer look at the distribution of projects across the 16 provinces, it reveals that except Zhejiang, Fujian, and Hainan, all eastern coastal provinces will witness the execution of such projects. However, equally important is the form and extent of local support granted to these projects. According to NDRC’s announcement, land use fees, for instance, were partly or even fully waived.”
The 168 projects have been categorized into four categories. Remarkably, a substantial number of these projects will not be grid-connected and operational by the end of 2019. Rather, it is expected to stretch until mid-2020, September 2020, early 2021, and in a few cases even by 2023. Such projects are to be developed in up to three phases, according to Frank.
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