Two women operate on a production line of a solar panel making company in Shangrao, Jiangxi province. (Photo/China Daily)
Biggest producer says B&R demand switching on Chinese capacity growth
JinkoSolar Holding Co Ltd, the world's biggest solar panel producer by shipments, said the Belt and Road Initiative has boosted demand in the infrastructure and energy sector, opening up a new growth frontier for Chinese photovoltaic firms.
The company has been taking advantage of the new opportunities and recalibrating its strategies toward overseas markets, said JinkoSolar Vice-President Qian Jing, during the Summer Davos meeting in Dalian on Tuesday.[Special coverage]
"China's clean energy revolution is having a decisive influence on the economies participating in the Belt and Road, and the development of photovoltaic technology has made clean energy no more a luxury, but an affordable energy," Qian said.
Unlike some developed countries which already have mature power generation infrastructure, infrastructure in some economies participating in the Belt and Road Initiative are at the early stages of development, which means more opportunities for Chinese solar power manufacturers, Qian said.
Countries like the United Arab Emirates and some South American nations involved in the initiative still had a heavy reliance on traditional fuel imports, but photovoltaic power generation was a more affordable energy source, she added.
Against the steep tariffs imposed by the United States and the European Union, along with rising Chinese labor costs in coastal cities, local solar panel companies have been moving their manufacturing abroad and speeding up construction of factories in countries participating in the initiative.
JinkoSolar is one of the companies that have invested heavily in economies connected to the initiative, with its projects involving 1 gW of capacity, including power a supply agreement with Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission for 188 mW of capacity.
It recently signed a 187 mW deal to supply to Quantum Power GK, a Japanese company within the Quantum Group, which followed another deal with a Marubeni Corp-led consortium for the 1.177 gW Sweihan PV power plant project in Abu Dhabi.
JinkoSolar reported record PV module shipments of 2.068 gW in the first quarter of 2017, a 19.3 percent year-on-year rise, while generating $839.3 million in Q1 revenue, becoming the first solar panel maker to ship over 2 gW of modules in a quarter.
The company forecast its total solar panel shipments for the year would be above 8.5 gW.
The company exports 60 percent of its solar products overseas to Europe, the United States, India, Japan and Southeast Asia.