The production goals are part of a 5-year plan that began in 2011, when China upped its solar energy installation goal twice: from 10 gigawatts, which it set after Japan's nuclear disaster last March, to 15 gigawatts (cumulative) by 2015. The Chinese government said the new 5-year plan aims to promote domestic solar energy use and bolster Chinese manufacturers' competitive edge in the global market that is marked by intensifying competition and trade disputes.
The ministry's plan noted the accomplishments of the Chinese's solar manufacturing sector -- it grew quickly to become a leading supplier of solar panels from 2007 through 2010 -- and boosted the efficiencies of solar cells to as much as 19 percent for monocrystalline silicon cells. But it also noted that China still relies on more technically advanced production equipment from other countries for solar cell production and lags behind in polysilicon production and thin film technologies.
By 2015, the government wants to see 21 percent efficiency for monocrystalline silicon cells, 19 percent for polysilicon cells, and 12 percent for amorphous silicon thin films, according to the plan. It also wants to see greater research and development of solar energy storage and other technologies for integrating solar electricity into the grid.
To make solar more competitive with conventional sources of power, the plan also calls for reducing the price of solar panels to 7000 yuan per kilowatt, or around $1 per watt in today's conversion rate, by 2015. PV system price should hit 13,000 yuan per kilowatt, and the cost of solar electricity should hit 0.8 yuan per kilowatt-hour. By 2020, the solar panel price should fall to 5,000 yuan per kilowatt and 10,000 yuan per kilowatt for a PV system, and 0.6 yuan per kilowatt-hour for solar electricity generation cost (the plan doesn't specify whether it's talking about power production cost or wholesale price).
The government's intention to support manufacturing expansion might seem foolish now given the glut of solar energy equipment that has caused solar panel prices to plummet by 50 percent in 2011 and forced several manufacturers to shutter factories or file for bankruptcies all together. American solar panel makers Solyndra, SpectraWatt, Evergreen Solar and Energy Conversion Devices all have filed for bankruptcy over the past year. German company Solon has done the same.
But if China is serious about increasing its use of solar energy and planning for a global solar market that still has a lot of room to grow, then it makes sense for the government to draw a long-term manufacturing expansion plan.
STP earnings in 7 days, better get in before that in a big way, always a sharp correction when they are oversold from this level.
If you notice it went straight to 15 last time from this level and then to 20 a few days later so 8 will not shock me after earnings but 6 or 7 seems days away as I expect accumulation daily up until earnings like last time, you can think FSLR awful news and losing market share for giving us this free money price on many china solars.