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China Stamps Solar FIT, But What Does It Mean?

Renewable Energy Online

4 August 2011: China has established itself as a solar PV manufacturing hub — but a new national solar feed-in tariff (FiT) hopes to make the nation a long-term player as an end-market, too.

Reports vary on some details, but all seem to agree that the new FiT laid down by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) sets an on-grid solar power price of RMB1.15/kWh (about $0.18/kWh) for projects approved before July 1 and completed by year’s end; and RMB1.0/kWh (about $0.16/kWh) for projects approved after July 1, and projects not completed in 2011. (Projects in Tibet reportedly get RMB1.15/kWh.) These do not apply to projects covered by the Golden Sun program, nor to any projects under competitive bidding. Funding is provided by the Renewable Energy Development Fund.

The news was generally expected by industry watchers. Citi analyst Tim Arcuri points out that the “new” FiT is “is simply the unification of prior subsidy programs.” Goldman Sachs’ Amy Song, meanwhile, defined the FiT as “temporary.”

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