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Rooftop Solar Carving Out A Niche In China

Oct 21, 2017

Installing solar panels on rooftops across China will position the only U.S.-listed company in the market as the clear leader, ReneSola announced Monday.

ReneSola, which became listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2009, said it generated 29 million kilowatt hours of solar-powered electricity in the third quarter. That's loosely enough power to meet the energy needs of 2,500 homes for a year.

The company said Monday it viewed rooftop solar power opportunities as ripe in the Chinese market. It has more than 130 megawatts of rooftop projects under development across the company and said it wanted to boost that to as high as 200 MW by the end of the year.

"We are on track in our goal of developing 150-200 MW of solar rooftop projects in China this year," Chairman and CEO Xianshou Li said in a statement. "Our efforts in the China rooftop market enable us to become the only U.S.-listed company levered to the exciting China rooftop opportunity."

Rooftop options have gained traction for major solar power developers. After a call for tenders, the solar power subsidiary for French supermajor Total said it was working through a partnership with agricultural services company Groupe Carré on 70 projects for solar polar installations on building and carports across France. The combined capacity of all projects awarded is 32 MW.

France has one of the least carbonized electricity sectors among members of the European Union.

Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, said that, by 2022, renewables in general will equal about half the global capacity for coal power and its solar energy in particular that's leading the way.

China is leading the pack with solar photovoltaics, accounting for about half of the total global expansion. China also takes credit as a global leader in exports of solar components. Chinese renewable power company Trina Solar said last month it now claims a quarter of the market share in India after setting a milestone for shipments.

China is the second largest economy in the world, after the United States.