AECEA: Solar to overtake wind in China

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AECEA has released its latest briefing paper on China’s PV development, expecting another strong year for solar in the country, noting that the 2020 target of 105 GW has already been exceeded, and that China now represents around one third of total installed PV capacity globally.

The report notes that solar has come to dwarf other energy sources in terms of annual newly installed capacity; for example, in 2017, new PV installations amounted to 53.06 GW, versus 12.8 GW for hydro, 15.03 GW for wind and 45.78 GW for thermal. Based on these numbers, AECEA says that solar will likely overtake wind as China’s third largest energy source.

Curtailment also decreased in 2017, and AECEA cites official statistics from China’s National Energy Administration, suggesting that the national curtailment rate for PV stands at 6-7%, a 4.3% reduction over 2016.

Performance of China’s upstream PV sector also exceeded the analyst’s expectations, which AECEA says increased its market share to cover 55% of inverters, 71% of modules, 68% of cells, 83% of wafer and 56% of polysilicon.

The report calls 2018 a “transition year” for China’s PV market, citing a range of regulation changes, including stricter regulations and a potential cap for distributed generation projects, increases in local government support, reduced capacities for the top runner program and the transition away from FITs to an REC system, as well as the rollout of subsidy-free projects.