Electricity giant China Power’s figures for the first half of 2019 have demonstrated the economic take-off of solar power in the country. The Hong Kong based company reported higher earnings from coal-generated electricity than solar, however, when profits from photovoltaic (PV) systems were taken into account, the RMB290 million from China Power’s PV operations surpassed the RMB259 million generated from its coal plants.
This profit differential is created in part by the solar subsidies from the Chinese government in combination with coal taxes, but the figures nonetheless demonstrate an industry shift towards higher profitability from renewables. China Power is embracing this transition and plans to open the largest grid demonstration project in the country: the 500 MW Liaoning Chaoyang facility. Given that PV contributed 16.06% of China Power’s net profits in the first half of the year versus coal’s 4.86%, renewables will surely gain momentum even as the Chinese government lowers subsidies for solar power.