China has increased its solar energy target to 35GW by 2015, up 67 percent from the 21GW target announced in 2012.
According to Shi Lishan, Deputy Director of the Renewable Energy Office of the National Energy Administration (NEA), “[t]he reason for making the adjustment is that the PV industry has been developing very quickly.”
Lishan also noted the recent pollution issues as a reason for the target increase, saying the Chinese government is under pressure “to save energy and reduce emissions as smog worsens due to pollution.”
In January, smog in Beijing reached hazardous levels, leading the authorities to increase the smog alert and temporarily shut down over 100 factories.
The increased target is also seen as a boost to Chinese PV panel manufacturers, who have been suffering from US import tariffs and falling prices over the past year.
“China always wants to increase solar power capacity,” Wang Xiaoting, a Beijing-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “The nation adjusts the targets from time to time with consideration for practical factors such as related policies and construction conditions.”
China expects to install even more solar PV after this target is attained, reaching 50GW by 2020.