China will be one of the most attractive solar markets in the world over the next five years, according to a new report by research and consulting firm Innova Research.
At the end of 2015, the Chinese government published an ambitious plan to achieve 150 GW of solar power installation by 2020. This would require 15 GW to 20 GW of new installation per year through 2020.
Manz Group is among those investing in the Chinese solar market. The technology company has already built a 1MW solar plant in Yunnan province, working with Beijing Sanglin Lantian Auto-control Tech, and recently formed a strategic partnership agreement with Shanghai Electric.
Under the new agreement Shanghai Electric will acquire at least 27% of Manz's newly issued shares to become one of the German company's major shareholders. Shanghai Electric will also work with Manz on the development of copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) solar PV technology, as well as other technologies such as energy storage and electronics.
Nancy Wu, research director at Innova Research and lead author of the report, said: "There are tremendous opportunities for companies with advanced solar PV technologies in the rapidly growing Chinese solar market. Partnerships with leading Chinese industrial players, such as Shanghai Electric, [are] a good way to enter this enormous market."
On the technology side, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has established standards for new CIGS projects, Innova said. Specifically, new CIGS production lines are required to achieve minimum module efficiency of 12%. New CIGS products which fail to reach that minimum standard will not obtain government permissions.
Manz supplies fully integrated turnkey production lines for manufacturing CIGS thin-film modules, with an average module efficiency of 14.6%, exceeding the Chinese national standard.