In the calendar year (CY) 2019, China is estimated to have installed 30 GW of solar capacity, a decline of 32% year-over-year (YoY) compared to 2018, when 44 GW of solar was installed according to the latest figures by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA).
China’s cumulative solar installed capacity now stands at 205 GW.
According to NEA, these figures imply that in December alone, up to 12 GW capacity was deployed, exceeding the 11.4 GW installed during the entire first half of 2019. At that time, China’s cumulative installed solar capacity was at 186 GW.
According to Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory Co. Ltd. (AECEA) Director Frank Haugwitz, AECEA was not expecting that 12 GW will be installed in December 2019 due to several reasons and also given the fairly low installations numbers in October (1 GW) and November (nearly 0.5 GW).
“A year-end rally is nothing unusual, however up to 12 GW in one single month, still beats all estimates. One factor which might have contributed to the spike in installations could be because projects that received approval up to 2-3 years ago are now taking advantage of the competitive module and system prices and were finally executed,” Haugwitz said.
According to Haugwitz, “30 GW is far better than what was anticipated, and given the tailwind, AECEA is currently revising its 2020 estimate. Early indications suggest that during 2020, the Chinese PV market will experience a rebound, possibly in the order of 15-25% YoY,” he added.
Recently Mercom reported that AECAE was cautiously optimistic about the solar sector next year, and it expected 23-31 GW capacity to be deployed during 2020.
In May 2018, the Chinese government abruptly decided to stop approving any new renewable projects until further notice. Back then, just half-way through the 13th five-year plan, the country had exceeded its official solar PV target of 105 GW by 2020 by nearly 47%.
In November 2019, it was reported that NEA announced that between January to September 2019, China added 16 GW of solar capacity, showing a decrease of 45% YoY.
Image credit: Salt River Project
Ankita is an editor at MercomIndia.com where she writes and edits clean energy news stories and features. With years of experience in the news business, Ankita has a nose for news and an eye for detail. Prior to Mercom, Ankita was associated with The Times of India as a copy editor for the organization’s digital news desk. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Delhi University and a Postgraduate Diploma in journalism. More articles from Ankita Rajeshwari.