China is already leading the solar energy production market, but it looks like it is going to expand its lead with plans to increase its solar energy output to 10GW by 2015. China is also one of the most attractive countries in the world for renewable energy investors (according to a report from Ernst & Young) and all of these factors have led to a perfect environment for China to double its solar capacity.

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According to a draft proposal submitted to the State Council for approval, the drop in costs in the solar energy market makes the 10GW output a realistic target. Dr. Hao Guoqiang, vice president of the Shanghai Solar Energy Energy Research Center said: “The drop in the cost of solar energy is about 10 per cent to 20 per cent each year. This is to say in 2015 the cost of supplying solar electricity is basically about the same as our electricity fees right now. That will be an era whereby solar energy is used on a large scale. ”

As a result, researchers are optimistic that this clean energy can be used more widely to ease China’s power shortage by 2015.”While the plan is not official just yet, if it goes ahead it will also affect China’s 2020 target and see the 20GW goal rise to 50GW. However, as with everything in China, policy approval is key.

“There are still big barriers. There is no standardised feed-in tariff and grid connection is a big problem without a standard policy,” Wang Sicheng, a senior solar energy researcher at China’s top policy-making body, the National Development and Reform Commission, said.

Here’s hoping the plan is approved!

+ Shanghai Solar Energy Energy Research Center

Via Channel NewsAsia