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China’s solar industry to become subsidy-free

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Aerial photo taken on July 5, 2018 shows a photovoltaic power plant in Ruicheng County of Yuncheng City, north China's Shanxi Province. Xinhua/Cao Yang

BEIJING (Xinhua) – Industry insiders believe China’s solar industry will become subsidy-free in a few years as the country tries to revitalise its photovoltaic sector after the government announced a plan to scale back its central subsidy system last year, China Daily reported Thursday.

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China’s solar industry is expected to transition toward a subsidy-free market as early as 2021, according to the newspaper, citing an analysis of China’s solar industry published by Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory.

The Chinese government has outlined a series of policies this year, looking to remove the hurdles that have been preventing the escalation of subsidy-free photovoltaic projects in the world’s biggest solar power market, the paper reported.

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) announced plans in April to drive the development of new subsidy-free solar projects through policy support, hoping new projects will be developed without the need for governmental subsidies, which it believed will steer the market in a new direction toward zero-subsidy renewables, according to the report.

Subsidy-free pilot projects commissioned by 2020 can enjoy 20-year power purchase agreements with fixed prices and top dispatch priority, guaranteed by grid companies.

The generation of solar power posted faster year-on-year growth, at 12.9 percent, in the first quarter of 2019, against the backdrop that China’s power generation climbs 4.2 percent year-on-year.

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