According to the latest statistics, in the first three quarters of 2017, China produced 170,000 tons of polysilicon, an increase of 17% over the same period of last year. In the same period, the country produced 62 GW of silicon wafers, up 44%; produced 51 GW of solar cells, up 50%; and 53 GW of solar modules, up 43%. In the first eight months of this year, China's exports of batteries and solar modules increased by 39% and 34% respectively. However, the total value of exports declined due to falling prices.
At present, China's PV industry is facing three pressing issues: power cuts, subsidies arrears, financing difficulties.
In the photovoltaic system and power rationing, the industry pointed out that with the government's request to increase the proportion of clean energy in the energy structure, developers have invested in solar energy systems, most of which are built in the northwestern part of the country, the lack of long-distance transmission and distribution facility. Therefore, photovoltaic power generation is often limited. Although the reduction is declining year after year, this issue is still a stumbling block for the development of China's solar power industry.
Another big problem in China is the time lag between the construction of solar PV power plants and the issuance of government subsidies, which are affecting the completion of power plants. Like most regions, China's solar industry is also subsidized, which means that each project is not immediately subsidized due to the rapid growth of PV installed capacity. The complex subsidy award process is the biggest contributor to delays in subsidies, with a three-year span from application to approval. By the end of 2016, the subsidy gap for the development of renewable energy power in the country totaled about 60 billion yuan (about 9 billion U.S. dollars).
The third issue facing the domestic solar industry is financing. Due to the large capital requirements for construction projects, developers are struggling to find funding for building new power plants, especially for distributed solar projects.
According to the road map of power development during the "13th Five-Year Plan" period of the National Energy Administration, the state should substantially increase the proportion of renewable energy in power generation and consumption with the goal of reaching 15% by 2020. In addition, the government plans to gradually reduce subsidies, forcing enterprises to reduce their production costs through the enhancement of their own technologies.