BEIJING, Aug 8 (Reuters) - China has hiked its 2015 target for solar power capacity by 40 percent to 21 gigawatts (GW), a government agency said on Wednesday, with falling costs and new regulations boosting growth in the sector.
China, the world's largest exporter of photovoltaic products and home to firms such as Suntech Power and LDK Solar , in August 2011 standardized tariffs for energy fed into the national grid, reducing costs for solar power developers.
That helped drive an estimated quadrupling of installed solar power capacity to more than 2.0 GW in 2011.
State media has also reported that the country's biggest energy producers and grid companies will be given minimum requirements for the usage of renewable sources, helping solar firms.
The National Energy Administration's (NEA) new goal for installed solar capacity is much higher than the 15 GW state media reported late last year, and more than double the 10 GW target set after the Japanese nuclear crisis in March 2011.
The NEA said in a plan published on its website (www.nea.gov.cn) that renewable energy would amount to 478 million tonnes of standard coal by 2015, accounting for more than 9.5 percent of the country's total energy consumption.
Targets for hydropower capacity remain unchanged at 290 GW at the end of 2015, with 260 GW from normal hydropower plants and 30 GW from pumped storage hydropower stations.
Goals for on-grid wind power have also been kept at 100 GW by the end of 2015, with 5 GW from wind farms on the sea.
The following table shows renewable energy development targets by 2015, according to the NEA and state media reports:
Hydropower capacity(GW) 260 196
Pumped storage hydropower capacity (GW) 30 N/A
On-grid wind power capacity(GW) 100 17.6
Solar power capacity(GW) 21 0.16
Biomass power capacity(GW) 13 1.09
Geothermal, tidal power capacity(MW) 110-120 28.1
Ocean power capacity (MW) 50 N/A
(Reporting by Judy Hua and Fayen Wong; Editing by Joseph Radford)