Solar power in China

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Solar PV power generation in Hong Kong

Solar power in the People's Republic of China is a growing industry. China has over 400 photovoltaic (PV) companies. In 2012 China installed 5.0 GW of solar panel capacity. As of 2012, about 8.3 GW of photovoltaics contribute towards power generation in China.[1] Solar water heating is extensively implemented as well.[2]

Domestic installed capacity[edit]

Rooftop solar water heaters are ubiquitous in China
New solar hot water installations during 2007, worldwide.

According to plans unveiled by the National Development and Reform Commission in 2007, the country's installed solar capacity was to grow to 1,800 MW by 2020.[3] In 2009, Wang Zhongying, a Commission official, mentioned at a solar energy conference in Shanghai that the plan might be exceeded several-fold, with the installed capacity possibly reaching as much as 10 GW by 2020.[3] In May 2011, the National People's Congress (NPC) set 5 GW as an official minimum PV target for 2015, with a longer-term target of 20–30 GW by 2020.[4]

China added 5.0 GW of panels in 2012, bringing installed capacity to 8,300 MW,[1][5]:pp. 13,14 and may add 6.8 GW in 2013.[6] According to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, the total installed capacity could grow to from 47 GW to 66 GW by 2017.[5]:p. 35

In 2011, the at the time world's largest solar farm was completed, the 200 MW Huanghe Hydropower Golmud Solar Park. There are many other solar farms in Golmud, totaling 570 MW at the end of 2011, with another 500 MW expected in 2012. The Qinghai province, which contains Golmud, leads China in solar installations.[7]

Projects completed before September 30[when?] receive 1.15 yuan (18 UScents/kWh).[8]

Year Capacity (MW) Installed/yr
1999 16
2000 19 3
2001 23.5 4.5
2002 42 8.5
2003 52 10
2004 62 10
2005 70 8
2006 80 10
2007 100 20
2008 140 40
2009 300 160
2010 800 500
2011 3,300 2,500
2012 8,300 5,000
2013 20,300 12,000

Concentrated solar power[edit]

The 12th five year plan, for 2011 to 2015, calls for installing 1,000 MW by 2015, and 3,000 MW of concentrated solar power plants by 2020. Plants either being planned or under construction:[9]

  • 1 MW Badaling Pilot Project — collaboration between the Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEE) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
  • 12 MW (short term) / 300-MW (long term) project — collaboration between Xinjiang Qingsong Building Materials and Chemicals (Group) Co. and Guodian Xinjiang Company
  • 50 MW project in Tibet by Huaneng Tibet Company
  • 100 MW project in Sichuan Abazhou by Tianwei New Energy (Aba)
  • 50 MW (TBD) by China Huadian Corporation
  • 100 MW project in Golmud by GD ENERGY
  • 100 MW project in Ningxia by Beijing Control Technology Co. Ltd
  • 100 MW project (TBD) by Avic Xi’an Aero-Engine (Group) Ltd
  • 100 MW project (TBD) by Guangdong Kangda
  • 100 MW in Gansu by SETC Tianjin
  • 1,000 MW in Qinghai by Lion International Investment Ltd.
  • 2,000 MW in Shaanxi by Shandong Penglai Dianli and eSolar


The industry is dominated by several major manufacturers. They include CHINT Group Corporation, JA Solar Holdings, Jinniu Energy, Suntech Power, Yingli, China Sunergy and Hanwha SolarOne.[10][11]


China is a large producer of polysilicon, for use in first generation solar cells around the world. A byproduct of the process is poisonous silicon tetrachloride, which is normally processed and recycled at a higher cost in the developed world, but often dumped by Chinese green startups.[citation needed] With proper recycling the polysilicon would cost $84,500 per tonne, but the Chinese companies are making it at $21,000 to $56,000 a ton.[12]

Zhejiang Jinko Solar Co., Ltd., founded in 2006 as a subsidiary of Hong Kong-invested JinkoSolar Holding Co, Ltd (NYSE Stock Code: JKS), produces solar panel photovoltaic cells and wafers. It employs more than 10,000 professionals in two factories in east China and has offshore offices and warehouse in the United States and Europe, according to the company website ( On Thursday, 15 September 2011, more than 500 people from Hongxiao Village protested over the large-scale death of fish in a nearby river. Angry protesters stormed the factory compound, overturned eight company vehicles, and destroyed the offices before police came to disperse the crowd. Protests continued on the two following nights with reports of scuffle, officials said. Chen Hongming, a deputy head of Haining's environmental protection bureau, said the factory's waste disposal had failed the pollution tests since April. The environmental watchdog has warned the factory but it had not effectively controlled the pollution, Chen added.[13]

Third-generation solar cells[edit]

ENN Solar Group is the Chinese amorphous silicon thin-film cell maker.[14] In March 2010 Anwell Technologies Limited began its mass production of the 1.1 × 1.4-metre amorphous silicon thin-film solar panel from its plant in Henan, China, marking a milestone on a journey that began about two years ago.[15] A triple-junction thin-film silicon cell structure that is claimed to have produced conversion efficiencies of 14.8% is also in development phase at Mitsubishi Electric.[16]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]