Solar boom to bust in China: worlds largest solar PV projects drop 43% as subsidies cut

The advantage of communist autocrats is that they can create government havoc so much more efficiently.

The Chinese solar boom was so big it became the world’s largest solar market. It was so big it pushed up global “clean energy” investment to a record high. China became the veritable show pony of the solar spruikers: “leading the world in clean energy investment”. Mashable tells us it was so big “the solar boom could be seen from space“.

But the star advertisement for renewable glory was all based on subsidies:

Solar capacity, accumulated, China, Rest of World, graph.

The Chinese solar boom was “pretty significant”

A couple of months ago the Chinese government admitted they were cutting the subsidies to make electricity cheaper again for consumers. That hit the stock market. Now projects are being cancelled and orders are drying up for the hapless manufacturers.

The free market might be telling us something

China’s solar industry is at a crossroads

“Without subsidies there’s no return on investment for over a decade, so investors and property owners aren’t interested in distributed solar. With subsidies it only takes seven years to recoup the investment,” he adds.

China’s solar manufacturers are unhappy with recent government policy changes that have put a brake on the sector.

“We’ve already halted work on 11 megawatts of industrial and commercial distributed solar PV projects,” says the marketing director for one solar photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer in Guangdong province.

Looks like sustainable power is not sustainable:

China has led the world in new solar installations in each of the past five years, helped by guaranteed electricity prices. But the cost of subsidies has been growing unsustainably, and as manufacturers have expanded rapidly to meet demand the risk of overcapacity has grown.

What the government giveth, it can axeth, nevermind about consultation, standing committees and white papers:

The new policy, which came into effect immediately, has no target for the construction of solar farms, and orders local governments not to approve solar farms that need subsidising.

Shame about the human toll.

The blind free market is so much kinder and more predictable.

hat tip to the GWPF

9.4 out of 10 based on 42 ratings

17 comments to Solar boom to bust in China: worlds largest solar PV projects drop 43% as subsidies cut

  • #

    Excess capacity developed due to perceived high demand. These guys should really sit down and look at the old group exercise known as the Beer Game: It’s the same old profile of boom and bust.


  • #

    This will be reported in the slave media as: POWER BILLS DOWN AS CHINESE SOLAR THROWS OFF SUBSIDY CULTURE.


    • #

      We can hope but I wouldn’t hold my breath while waiting.


      • #

        Any dumped glut of solar panels will be hailed as “prices still coming down”!


        • #

          Yep. Toss a dud tech in the remainders bin and announce increased uptake. Or park defect Teslas out front of the tent factory and announce overflow production…from a tent. Or wait for a quieter month after record coal sales and propose “THE END OF COAL?”.

          Our Disney media. They’re such scamps. What do they want to do when they grow up?


  • #

    Not solar but amazing breaking news. The country has been waiting to see the actual NEG legislation.

    “A Liberal rebel told The Australian it was “disgusting” that Labor had the legislation but they were being asked to sign off on it sight unseen.”

    So Turnbull is selling the policy for Labor/Green approval or amendment without allowing his own members to see it!
    He is planning to pass the legislation as approved Labor/Green policy and ignoring his own party room who will be told to vote for the Labor/Green approved bill.

    This is about as insulting to the Liberal party as you could get. He has declared himself the Liberal/Labor/Green PM, the Great Leader who unites all the parties.

    Expect a huge blowup over this move. However I know Tony Abbott talked about what was in the legislation, so I wonder about the accuracy of this report. Perhaps Tony has only been told what is in it. Or has only seen an early draft.


  • #

    If any one act should bring down Malcolm Turnbull as Coalition leader, this is it. The only point of a party winning government is the right to create , edit and enact your own legislation to enshrine you own policies in law.

    Once this has become the prerogative of the opposition there is no government.

    I cannot imagine the Labor party would object. It is high farce and total betrayal of the Liberal and National parties. I can only think it is unprecedented in Australian politics and total humiliation for the MPs and ministers on the government side.

    However this bill might then pass, which is Malcolm’s last act before he hands government over to his preferred Labor/Green friends and retires to his harbourside mansion. A quick resignation, a by election and his job is done.
    The optional Paris accord enshrined as obligation in Australian law. A history making event of world significance.


    • #

      It sounds as if Australia needs a whole new party because that is the only way to get rid of all the dead wood, green, politicians. It would also help if the new party included engineers and people that can think for themselves.


    • #

      yes, well. Interesting take on China’s solar industry right there.


  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    Notice how flexible the Chinese government is on energy policy;
    But here in democrat Australia we have political correctness & total intransigence.


  • #
    Rob Leviston

    “When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.”
    I think the Chinese have woken up!


  • #
    Clint Bracket

    Even with subsidies, was solar (or wind) ever sustainable?

    If one accounts for the gargantuan proportion of fossil fuels in the manufacture of structural components for both “green” industries, its doubtful there is any green offset. What am I talking about?

    The mining of raw materials (and the equipment deployed therein), transportation of same, milling into steel and the further transportation of those products to other (fossil fueled) manufacturing facilities, where machinery built by fossil companies with electricity generated by fossil, creates the “green” products. Without fossil fuels, the “green energy” revolution couldn’t even wipe the sand out of its eyes in the morning.