New data from China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has revealed that an additional 34.24GW of solar was connected to the country’s grid in 2016.
There is now a total of 77.42GW of solar PV. The 126% increase in annual installation outstrips the NEA’s cumulative market growth figure of 81.6%. A surge in connections occurred in the first half of 2016 as developers looked to guarantee their feed-in tariff before a planned drop. Almost two thirds (22GW) of the 2016 total was installed in H1.
According to Frank Haugwitz, of the Beijing-based Asia Europe Clean Energy Advisory (AECEA) group, project completions have increased since November. A slump in the wake of the H1 push had triggered fears of a drop in demand. This would appear to be easing. As a result AECEA is forecasting that China could again see 20GW of PV projects added to the grid in H1 2017.
The country has a target of 110GW of total installed solar capacity by 2020. Haugwitz believes, based on past experience, that this will be a minimum target to be exceeded, rather than a maximum level.