China set to mandate solar on at least 20% of residential roofs in pilot counties – pv magazine International

Government agency the NEA has given its provincial offices until July 15 to propose counties where a solar mandate — which amounts to at least half of all government roof space — could be rolled out. Selected companies will receive contracts for the entire province.

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has attempted to shift the dial on small-scale PV in the nation by asking its provincial offices to nominate provinces where a pilot program to blanket rooftop solar can be run.

The state entity wants selected counties to have at least 20% of all residential roofs equipped with solar energy, as well as at least 30% of commercial and industrial structures; 40% of non-governmental public buildings, such as hospitals and schools; and half of the roofs on the national estate.

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However, NEA’s provincial offices will take time, with the national office requiring the pilot regions to be identified within fourteen days.

Under the plan, installers will be selected to develop all rooftop capacity in each county, and two days after the policy was promulgated, the State Power Investment Corporation informed its subsidiaries that they would be involved in the distributed PV pilot programs.

With Fujian, Guangzhou, Shaanxi, Jiangxi, Gansu and Zhejiang provinces having published plans for similar programs since March, the NEA decision appears to have rolled out their actions across the rest of the country.

Trade organization the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) says the key feature of the new policy refers to a document released in 2018 that attempted to enable the private sale of rooftop electricity to third parties, aka “neighbor trading.” ‘ mentioned. ‘

With no grid metering in China, the earlier document sought to allow solar households to sign sales agreements with nearby energy consumers in exchange for paying just a fee for using the grid to their utility company. The generated power would be injected into the grid and the amount signed by the customer would be paid to the generator at a rate lower than the grid’s current.

That previous attempt at neighborly trade made little progress, thanks to the reluctance of power companies, and left little incentive to invest in rooftop PV in China unless it’s entirely for self-consumption. The CPIA said the new NEA policy regulates rooftop electricity trading under terms originally proposed three years ago, in a move that could unleash a wave of distributed solar in the world’s largest PV market.

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