August 19, 2015 / 8:03 AM / 4 years ago

China's solar manufacturing output tops $31 bln in H1 -ministry

BEIJING, Aug 19 (Reuters) - The value of China’s total solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing output topped $31 billion in the first half of 2015, the industry ministry said on Wednesday, as the push for renewable energy continues in the world’s largest solar PV producer.

In the first half of 2014, the total output value surpassed 150 billion yuan ($23.44 billion).

China, the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter, has committed to halting the rise in CO2 within the next 15 years to help build a United Nations climate deal in late 2015.

Total output value surpassed 200 billion yuan ($31.26 billion) in the January-June period, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a statement on its website (http://www.miit.gov.cn).

China also exported $7.7 billion worth of silicon wafers, batteries and modules in the first half of 2015, compared to $8.2 billion during the same period last year.

It produced 74,000 tonnes of crystalline silicon, up 15.6 percent compared to the same period last year, and produced 4.5 billion silicon wafers, up slightly, the statement said.

Domestic solar companies, some already heavily indebted, will need to raise many billions of dollars this year to fund a big expansion in capacity, a major test of investor confidence in a sector hit hard by the global financial crisis.

China increased its domestic solar power capacity by 7.73 gigawatts (GW) in the first six months of 2015, the country’s top energy regulator said in July, leaving new installations short of the half-way mark for this year’s target as growth slowed in the second quarter.

The government aims to raise the share of non-fossil fuels to 15 percent of its total energy mix by 2020 from around 11 percent at the end of 2014 as part of efforts to ease its dependence on coal and meet its climate pledges to the U.N. ($1 = 6.3988 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting By Adam Rose; Editing by Michael Perry

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