China to Support Nearly 23GW of Solar With New Feed-in Tariff

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has approved nearly 22GW of solar capacity for the country’s new feed-in tariffs scheme.

According to Asia Europe Clean Energy Advisory (AECEA) this could see 38-42GW installed in the country this year.

The lowest bid came in at RMB0.2795/kWh, just over US$0.04.

The long-awaited new FiT system awards capacity through a reverse auction with interested parties bidding for a premium to be paid on top of regional benchmark electricity prices. It replaces the old scheme halted suddenly in May last year, the so-called 531 New Deal.

While the estimates for 2019 would still fall short of last year’s 44GW, it is a vast improvement on some expectations earlier in the year. Q1 installations were down 46% year-on-year.

AECEA said that PV projects seeking feed-in-tariffs that were scheduled to be grid connected by December 31, 2019 had totalled 4,338 with a combined capacity of 24.55GW but approved projects totalled 3,921 projects with a capacity of 22.78GW, leaving 417 projects with a capacity of around 1.77GW unsecured.

The successful bids included 366 ground-mounted utility-scale projects with a combined capacity of 18.12GW, therefore accounting for the majority (79.5%) of projects.

A total of 3,082 self-generation/self-consumption/excess capacity projects were accepted with a combined capacity of 4.10GW and accounted for 18% of the total.

The smallest share (2.5%) was allocated to Distributed Generation (DG) projects, which totalled 473 with a combined capacity of 0.56GW.

On a regional basis, Gansu Province and Xinjiang Autonomous Region were excluded from the bidding, due to continued grid curtailment issues.

Guizhou Province proved to be the most successful, winning over 3.6GW of projects, closely followed by Shaanxi Province with more than 3GW. According to AECEA, a total of 13 provinces were allocated over 1GW each of projects.


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