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China Calls for Solar Applications Eligible for Subsidies

Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) -- China, the world’s biggest supplier of solar modules, will begin accepting new applications from regional governments seeking to qualify for subsidies through a second round of funding this year to develop solar projects.

The government will subsidize projects of at least 5.5 yuan (88 cents) a watt if they’re completed by the end of June, China’s Ministry of Finance said in a Nov. 9 statement on its website. China will also offer subsidies of 25 yuan a watt for independent photovoltaic power plants in remote areas and 18 yuan a watt for residential systems.

Since 2009, China has offered financial assistance for projects under the Golden Sun and building-integrated photovoltaic programs to promote energy generated from the sun. GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd., Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. and about 100 other developers of projects with 1.7 gigawatts of combined capacity were selected for the Golden Sun program’s first phase this year in May.

Applications must be made by Nov. 15, the ministry said. Projects should convert solar energy to electricity with an efficiency of at least 15 percent from crystalline-silicon modules used for demonstration projects and 8 percent for non-crystalline silicon thin-film modules.

“Subsidies only apply to projects to be commissioned before a deadline, providing more regulation,” Wang Minnan, a Beijing-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said by phone. The efficiency requirements are an increase from the 14.5 percent and 7 percent required earlier, she said.

China is encouraging cities or counties with “good applicable conditions” to develop as many as three distributed solar power projects each. Such projects would ideally have less than 6 megawatts of capacity and would be connected to grids with voltage of as much as 10 kilovolts, the official China National Radio reported Oct. 26, citing China State Grid Corp.

To contact the reporter on this story: Feifei Shen in Beijing at fshen11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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