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The solar PV market in China continues to grow at a rapid rate with recent research statistics estimating that China will install about 13.5 GW of solar PV in 2014. To indicate how large the growth is, Japan, for example still has less than 10 GW of solar, despite having a strategic plan to increase the growth of solar PV.
With a population of 1.3 billion, it is necessary for China to implement renewable technologies to backup their strong economic growth. The country has continued to develop distributed solar PV solutions as well as rooftop solar installations. The Chinese government has also set extremely positive goals of 40 GW of solar pv by 2015.
While the increase in solar PV installations is a strong commitment to renewable and clean energy solutions, China is still expanding coal mining as an electricity source. China saw the construction of 100 million tonnes of new coal production capacity in 2013. This figure is six times more than 2012 a year earlier and a mere 10 percent the United States annual usage. So, the Chinese have a strong development plan for renewable technologies but there is still a focus on fossil fuels.
The rapid scale of increase over the next few years for new coal production capacity is more than the entire annual output of India. Such aggressive development within China is no doubt strongly linked to the economic growth requirements however, a considerable number of Chinese deaths were linked to outdoor air pollution in 2010. The pursuit of fossil fuel energy is certainly a contradiction of other strategic growth within the Chinese market.
In some quarters in China, it is thought that this specific strategic direction is aimed at sparking a stimulus for the slowing economy. Furthermore, the continued increase in population requires a certain strategic standpoint and it is likely that the Chinese population growth may not peak until 2030.