China scales up solar power capacity plan by 50 percent

BEIJING Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:36am EST

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China has further revised up its solar power development target for 2015 by 50 percent from its previous plan, state media reported on Thursday.

The government has set a target for installed solar power generating capacity to reach 15 gigawatts by 2015 and wind power capacity to hit 100 GW, China National Radio reported, citing an announcement from the National Energy Administration.

The ambitious move may have been encouraged by a rapid increase in solar power installation in recent months after the government unified grid feed-in tariffs for solar projects for the first time in July, and offered a higher price for projects that would be put into operation before the year end.

China had doubled its 2015 solar power goal to 10 GW after the Japanese nuclear power crisis.

Installed solar power capacity at the end of 2010 was less than 1 GW in China, the world's largest exporter of photovoltaic products and home to some of the industry's top players, such as Trina Solar, JA Solar, Suntech Power and LDK Solar.

Annual solar power output will reach 20 billion kilowatt hours by 2015 and wind power output 190 billion kWh, China National Radio said in a text report posted on its website (www.cnr.cn).

Of the planned 100 GW wind power capacity in 2015, 5 GW will be built in the ocean, it said.

The overall wind power capacity goal was the same as that in the previous plan.

Non-fossil energy production including wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and nuclear power will amount to 480 million tons of standard coal in 2015, the report added.

(Reporting by Jim Bai and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

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