China and the U.S. haven’t always played nice over renewable energy. Chinese solar panel manufacturers have been accused of selling PV panels at lower prices in an attempt to gain market share, which led to sanctions against Chinese solar panel imports in the U.S. But China and the U.S. also have been working to ease those sanctions and pricing issues and tensions they’ve caused. Now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the China PV Investment and Finance Alliance (CPVFA) partnered to help with investing in solar developments in China.
Under the partnership NREL will advise CPVFA on the Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group, which NREL convened. Under the partnership NREL will help advise CPVFA in standardizing documents, making data available and asset deployment. The goal is to use knowledge gained through the efforts of the working group to help increase access to lower-cost financing for solar panel projects in China. This will include increasing access to capital through securitizing projects as well as other opportunities.
NREL's Michael Mendelsohn characterized the collaboration as a two-way street. "Our counterparts in China will be able to provide unique insights on asset development and grid integration,” he said. “They are also very motivated to open investment through pooled financial vehicles and reduced transaction costs. NREL and the SAPC working group, which shares similar goals, can offer expertise in this area."
According to NREL the collaboration is part of the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Partnership, which was announced by Presidents Obama and Hu in 2009. The collaboration is one of seven clean energy programs the countries partnered on. The NREL CPVFA partnership also will help reduce CO2 emissions, particularly in China, under the November 2014 Joint Announcement on Climate Change and Clean Energy Cooperation, NREL said.
"The collaboration between China and the U.S. and the cooperation between PV and finance industries will not only greatly accelerate the adoption and use of PV as an important means to reduce CO2 emissions, but also broaden the space for Chinese financial innovation,” said Megan Tang, vice secretary-general of CREIA and the secretary-general of CPVFA.Tweet