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Published on November 8th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


China Installed PV to Equal U.S. Installed PV in 2011

chinese solar panels kids

If one thing in the clean energy space is obvious, it’s that China is investing in and installing clean energy like it’s a do or die requirement (hmm..). A new report by Solarbuzz,  China Deal Tracker, finds that it’s total installed solar PV is going to equal total installed solar PV in the U.S. this year. More stats:

  1. Non-residential PV pipeline in China now equals 16 GW (as of end of October).
  2. At least 1,104 non-residential solar PV projects are now installed, being installed, or in development in China (ok, I’m going to stop writing “in China”).
  3. Projects are located in 29 provinces, but 10 of the projects contain 86% of the PV pipeline.
  4. In 2011, 195 projects totaling 1.8 GW in solar power capacity will be installed, quite similar to the U.S. projection.
  5. Building-mount solar projects only represent 10% of the total solar pipeline (but dropping prices could eventually make solar PV build-mount much more attractive to industrial and commercial customers).

China’s unified national feed-in tariff (FIT) policy and dropping solar panel prices are big drivers of the installations.

“China’s FIT rates—1.15 CNY/kWh in 2011 and 1.0 CNY/kWh for 2012—used to be considered so low that project development activities have been mostly limited to high solar radiation regions such as Golmud,” said Ray Lian, Analyst at Solarbuzz. “However, system prices fell so fast in 2011 that project profitability has been improved to reasonable levels in other locations.”

As a reminder, earlier this year, China doubled its 2015 solar power target from 5 GW to 10 GW.

Chinese kids & solar panels via International Rivers

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

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