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Solar power production charges to decline by half: executive

2014-09-12 13:24 Global Times Web Editor: Qin Dexing

The cost of solar electricity generation will decline to half of the current level by 2020 in China, an important technological breakthrough in raising the use of the clean energy, chairman of a solar company said Wednesday at a parallel session of the World Economic Forum in Tianjin.

"In 2020, the cost for solar electricity generation in coastal areas will decline to 0.5 yuan ($0.08) per kilowatt hour (kWh), which equals to the cost of coal-fired power," said Gao Ji-fan, chairman and CEO of Trina Solar Ltd, one of the country's leading solar companies.

Gao attributed the decline of the cost to technological progress made by the solar enterprises, which have been confronted with ferocious competition and industry integration in the past few years.

Only those companies with advanced management and technologies could survive in the face of the fierce competition and severe challenges (from overseas markets), -noted Gao.

Chinese domestic solar power enterprises have suffered big losses from anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures taken by the US and the European Union since 2011.

Over 80 percent of China's domestic solar energy enterprises stopped production and around 80 percent of their employees lost their jobs or suspended work after the US and EU launched investigations into Chinese companies in 2012, according to previous media reports.

Meng Xian'gan, secretary-general of the China Renewable Energy Society, told the Global Times Wednesday that market share of solar power will increase nationwide in the future if the conversion efficiency of solar electricity is improved and the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules declines further.

Improvement in different types of technologies including energy storage and smart grids is also urgently needed for application of solar power in more areas, noted Meng.

Chinese authorities have also promulgated stimulus policies to support solar energy development.

The State Grid Corporation of China, the country's largest State-owned electric utilities company, announced in 2012 that it will allow small-scale distributed solar power plants with installed capacities of less than six megawatts each to be connected to the grid.

Distributed solar power plants are small, scattered generators which until now generated electricity only for their own use.

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