A sharp increase in non-residential building-mount PV applications indicates a strong growth toward self-sustained power generation in China's PV market, according to the recently released NPD Solarbuzz China Deal Tracker report.
In addition, the number of non-utility commercial projects being planned has surpassed the utility sector – a further indication of the growing trend toward non-utility-driven PV adoption.
In May, Premier Jiabao Wen called for an increase in self-sustained solar power within the utility and residential segments. According to the report, the number of non-residential building-mount applications increased to more than 400 at the end of July, while the number of planned projects within China's PV pipeline exceeded 700.
However, ground-mount applications are forecast to continue as the largest segment in China during 2012, with a 58% share, followed by large building-mount applications, which are growing rapidly.
‘In the Chinese PV market, utility and corporate segments are expected to dominate in the period from 2012 to 2016,’ says Steven Han, analyst for NPD Solarbuzz. ‘However, the corporate segment is now forecast to exceed the utility segment in 2013.’
The Northwest region of China – including Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Xinjiang and Shaanxi – will have 63% of the total PV project pipeline for China from 2012 to 2016. Systems of 1 MW to 5 MW will contribute 30% of the total project count, driven by projects expected to be completed under the country's Golden Sun program.
Currently, the leading PV system developers in the Chinese market include the China Power Investment Corp., China Energy Conservation and the Environmental Protection Group, and China Datang Corp. These companies alone account for more than 5 GW of PV capacity currently in the project pipeline.