For the fourth time in two years China has increased its solar energy target from 21GW by 2015 to 35GW.

Chinese newspaper The Economic Times reported Shi Lishan, Deputy Director of the Renewable Energy Office of the National Energy Administration (NEA), said, “The target of 35 GW has been confirmed, and will soon be announced.

“The reason for making the adjustment is that the PV industry has been developing very quickly.”

In the last ten years, China’s solar PV cumulative installed capacity has already grown by 67 times the average annual growth.

However, at the beginning of January it was reported that ASP declines in 2012, driven by industry overcapacity throughout the PV supply chain, had forced over 350 companies in China to stop operations entirely.

Furthermore, Lishan said, “We’ve got more pressure to save energy and reduce emissions as smog worsens due to pollution.”

According to media reports, Beijing authorities increased the smog alert for its 20 million residents and temporarily shut down more than 100 factories due to record hazardous levels in January.

On 14 January, China announced its intention to join the International Renewable Energy Agency, which would make it the 161st member of the body.

By 2020 the government expects that total installed capacity of solar power will reach 50GW, by which time overall financial investment is expected to reach RMB250 billion (US$40 billion).