China’s capacity additions approach 50 GW mark in 2017

The country’s cumulative total represents a year-on-year increase of about 67%, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said in an online statement this week.

The figures indicate that around 23.97 GW of solar was completed from July to the end of November 2017, bringing total capacity additions for the first 11 months of the year to about 48.4 GW. 

PV projects throughout the country generated a record 106.9 billion kWh of electricity in the January-November period, up 72% year on year, the NEA said. Utility-scale PV projects generated about 93.2 billion kWh of electricity, while distributed-generation solar installations produced 13.7 billion kWh.

The NEA noted that distributed-generation PV development expanded significantly in the first 11 months of 2017, with 17.2 GW of new capacity additions.

The pace of deployment fell in the northwestern part of the country, where the curtailment of PV projects remains a problem, the government agency said. However, it claimed that deployment continued to rise in eastern and central China throughout the first 11 months of the year.

It also said it was satisfied by progress under its Top Runner program, as it has contributed to technological advancements and cost reductions.

In August, the NEA said China had installed 24.4 GW of solar in the first six months of 2017. More recently, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) estimated that Chinese PV developers had completed roughly 43 GW of PV capacity in the nine months to the end of September.

In December, the Chinese government revealed its new feed-in tariffs (FIT) for different kinds of solar projects, effective from the beginning of this month.