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A late burst of distributed solar projects will help ensure China achieves a record PV installation rate of 14GW this year, according to Tang Cheng, chairman of GCL New Energy.

Slow take up of distributed generation (DG) projects earlier this year had led many to predict that the country would fall short of the quota it set on solar support of 8GW for DG and 6GW for large ground mounted projects.

Writing in the company’s interim report for 2014 published yesterday, Cheng said he was confident the country would reach that landmark figure with “explosive growth” in the DG market playing its part.

“…Photovoltaic application markets in the United States of America, South Africa, and the United Kingdom in Europe etc. will also enjoy significant growth. In particular, the PRC [People's Republic of China] market is expected to reach its historical high of installed capacity amounted to 14GW," Cheng said.

Addressing the sluggish start to the 8GW DG rollout, he said he expected this to be compensated for.

“During the first half of 2014, the construction progress of distributed projects in all provinces and autonomous regions slowed down, far from reaching expectations set out in national planning,” he wrote.

“For most provinces, additional distributed power generation projects filed for approval were accounted for less than 5% of the planned capacity in the first quarter and no new projects filed for approval were noted for some provinces. However, with the scale-up of distributed generation policy in the third quarter and promulgation of supporting measures in favor of distributed generation market, it is expected that installed capacity will gradually grow in the third quarter and will experience explosive growth in the fourth quarter,” predicted Cheng.

Some analysts have predicted that the delays in China could see Japan overtake it as the largest end demand market for solar in 2014.