Policy and Industry Dynamics
Policy and industry dynamics
China formally launched the “Top Runner Program” in 2015, aiming at guiding technical progress and industry upgrade of photovoltaic technology. According to this program, the 3GW demonstration project has been initially programmed and shall be completed within three years with 1GW for each year. The first 1GW demonstration project is located at the mining subsidence area of Datong, Shanxi and had been connected to the grid by Jun. 30, 2016. According to the analysis of EnergyTrend, the Top Runner Program will become a means for China to drive “elimination of the strong & support for the weak” in photovoltaic industry.
In order to drive product upgrading and transition of photovoltaic industry, the Top Runner Program has formulated strict product specifications as follows:
II. Statistics About Grid Connection
The first-batch projects of the Top Runner Program include seven 100MW projects and six 50MW projects. They were connected to the grid during the latter half of June, 2015. Details about grid connection are as follows:
Judging from the suppliers, JA, which provided the 420MW assemblies, is the largest winner. Judging from categories of the products, over seventy percent of the power stations have adopted monocrystal assemblies and a few have adopted PERC and N-Type products.
The Top Runner Program possesses the right of preferential grid connection and electricity charge settlement, but the gap between its subsidies and the subsidies to ordinary power stations are relatively small. As a result, the purchase price of the Top Runner Program will not be too high. Thus, the PERC technology hasn’t achieved obvious advantages through the Top Runner Program.
At the same time, the Top Runner Program can’t bring great premiums of efficient products to the enterprises which have won the bidding due to the problem of subsidy. According to EnergyTrend, the true meaning of the Top Runner Program is to encourage generalization of technical advanced products and to promote benign competition in the industry. The brand values of the manufacturers can also be improved.