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BNEF Image Credit: China Solar Cells via Wikimedia Commons

Published on January 24th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill

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China’s Solar Market Beat All Expectations For 2013 — Installed More Solar Power In 2013 Than USA Has In Its Whole History

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January 24th, 2014 by  

Despite predictions all through 2013 suggesting that Japan would walk away the dominant solar PV market, Bloomberg New Energy Finance has revealed that China “outstripped even the most optimistic forecasts” to install a record 12 GW of photovoltaic projects in 2013.

In fact, a massive boom at the end of the year could even have pushed the nation’s market up to 14 GW, a phenomenal feat considering that no country has never added more than 8 GW in a year.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) had predicted that Japan would come out on top in 2013, ahead of China and then the US, but with a feed-in tariff for large PV projects ending on the first of 2014, the year-end rush will not be wholly understood until March.

“The 2013 figures show the astonishing scale of the Chinese market, now the sleeping dragon has awoken” said Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “PV is becoming ever cheaper and simpler to install, and China’s government has been as surprised as European governments by how quickly it can be deployed in response to incentives.”

Even China’s state news agency could not have predicted the massive boom which took place. And in July it was announced that China aimed to add 10 GW of solar power a year for the next three years — a target they seem to have hit rather easily.

Surprisingly, many market analysis companies scoffed at China’s targets for 2014. IHS and Mercom Capital both released reports earlier this year suggesting that China would struggle to reach their aim of 12 GW for 2014, but with 2013’s impressive stats, one wonders whether analysts will be revising their predictions in the next few weeks, especially in the wake of new estimations suggesting that China is aiming for 14 GW in 2014.

With the majority of solar projects located on the country’s sunny and empty western provinces, China’s state-owned power generators China Power Investment Corporation, China Three Gorges and China Huadian Corporation have become the world’s largest owners of solar assets.

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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.



  • The New GooTube make your comm

    I Still don’t get it, China is leading in the Renewable energy tech but how come there are tons of smoke in China ? Can someone please explain to me please ?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Sure. It’s very easy to understand.

      China moved from a very low production country to a very high production country in a remarkably short time. They needed a lot of energy to do this.
      Renewables were not as advanced when they started as they are now so China installed a lot of coal generation. Along with a lot of new hydro and some new nuclear.

      Now they have most of the energy they need, they have a strong economy, and they can now attend to other problems such as air quality and climate change.

      BTW, China has replaced their coal powered trains with modern trains including high speed rail which we don’t have. And they’ve closed about 1,000 of their most inefficient coal plants.

      It’s going to take China roughly another decade to get their energy production system turned around.

      • The New GooTube make your comm

        Thanks :) I know part of the problems is because of coal factories and manufacturing factories, but other than that, I’m completely clueless :P. Thanks again.

  • JMin2020

    Kudos to China. I hope they continue the trend of applying Renewable Energy Technologies as much as they possibly can. When they manufacture them as well they benfit even more so than buying systems from other countries and assume responsibility for their own Global Carbon Footprint.

  • http://www.energyquicksand.com/ Edward Kerr

    This belies those who say we might as well continue burning coal because China and India won’t stop so what’s the point. BS. True, China is developing fast and coal has been a big part of that process. The main difference is that they “get” the problem and are moving rapidly to change. In this case I say screw the market because it is leading us to extinction for the sake of money. If a “command economy” will help save our sorry a$$es I say “let’s have it”. Crony capitalism (as adverse to entrepreneurial activity) is a blight that must go.

  • Matthew

    So even the socialists are kicking our a$$ at this.

    • A Real Libertarian

      Yeah, we have a tendency to do that.

    • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

      Communists rather, but that is an even bigger insult to the market economy of the US

  • Will E

    when you have stock, sell and buy solar panels.
    and make more money for years to come. guarantee yield.
    all over the world, everywhere.

  • Shiggity

    Nice article. Most people just can’t wrap their heads around how fast solar pv is actually moving. No energy source has ever moved this fast, not even oil.

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