According to the latest data released by the National Energy Administration (NEA), 11.52 GW of solar capacity was installed in China during the first half (1H) of 2020.
Large-scale solar installations accounted for 7.08 GW, and distributed solar accounted for 4.43 GW at the end of June.
Installations increased slightly compared to the first half of 2019 when China installed 11.4 GW.
The cumulative installed solar capacity reached 216 GW at the end of June 2020, out of which 149 GW accounted for centralized grid-connected solar capacity, and 67 GW for distributed solar capacity. North China and East China recorded more new solar installations as compared to other parts of the country.
As per the NEA data, the solar PV generating capacity stood at 1,278 billion kWh during 1H 2020, an increase of 20%, and the national solar PV utilization figure stood at 595 hours, an increase of 19 hours. The north-eastern part of China recorded the highest solar PV utilization hours, reaching 771 hours, a year-on-year (YoY) decrease of 19 hours. Central China had the lowest utilization figures, with 493 hours, a YoY increase of 46 hours.
Of the 7.08 GW of grid-connected solar capacity, Shanxi province accounted for 1.06 GW of solar capacity, whereas, Guangdong province accounted for 690 MW of newly-added solar capacity. Similarly, 620 MW was added in the Shandong province, and 620 MW of new capacity was added in the Jiangsu province.
In a previous report, NEA had said that nearly 3.95 GW of solar capacity was installed nationwide in China during the first quarter of 2020. Out of the 3.95 GW, 2.23 GW was added through the large-scale solar PV installations, while distributed solar PV made up 1.72 GW. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the main reasons for the decline in installations in the first quarter of 2020.
In June this year, the National New Energy Consumption Monitoring and Early Warning Center announced the projected addition of new solar and wind power capacities in China in 2020. According to the announcement, China was likely to add 85.1 GW of solar and wind capacity to its grid in 2020, which included 35.1 GW of wind capacity and 48.45 GW of solar capacity.
Last year, China had added 30.11 GW of new solar capacity. Large-scale projects made up 17.91 GW and 12.2 GW of installations were through distributed projects.
Rakesh Ranjan is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.