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China Now The World’s Largest Solar PV Market

China is now the world’s largest solar PV market, according to the Global New Energy Development Report 2014, having now surpassed Germany to take the top spot.

The new report explores other topics as well, and provides a comprehensive overview of the global renewable energy market. It was prepared by Hanergy Holding Group and China New Energy Chamber of Commerce.

Image Credit: China Solar Cells via Wikimedia CommonsImage Credit: China Solar Cells via Wikimedia Commons

Amongst the most interesting things to note are that 38.7 GW of new solar PV capacity was installed in 2013, and that out of that total figure 12 GW was installed in China — that’s a 232% increase over the previous year in the eastern manufacturing powerhouse. Total global cumulative installed solar PV capacity now rests at 140.6 GW.

The figures match up with what has been predicted by many analysts, the industry’s slow shift from the European to the Asian market.

Renewable Energy World provides more:

The global new energy industry experienced sustained growth in 2013, as governments aligned their national energy mix to eliminate pollutants and improve the ecological environment, China New Energy Chamber of Commerce vice president Zeng Shaojun said. Chinese companies will be investing more heavily in technological advances and accelerate their pace of going global, in an effort to increase their shares in the global new energy market, Zeng added.

Since 2012, Chinese regulators have been releasing a series of policies and measures, including the State Council’s Opinions on Promoting the Healthy Development of the PV industry, significantly propelling the development of the country’s solar power market. As of the end of 2013, China’s grid-connected solar capacity reached 14.79 GW, up 340% year on year.

Over the last few years China’s PV export demand has fallen as the result of weak economic growth in the European and American markets, and also as the result of lower subsidies for exports to said markets + protectionist policies undertaken on behalf of those markets.

2013 was a bit of a turning point though, thanks to the country’s shift to emerging markets. Solar exports to Asia climbed 124% year on year in 2013 — up to $5.5 billion, thereby accounting for 44.8% of total exports. Another market that saw big growth was the African one, which saw figures surge 387% in 2013 — up to $570 million.

By comparison, European market numbers fell by 62% in 2013 to $3.72 billion.

In related news, if you want to read a funny story (that perhaps reflects rather harshly on certain segments of modern Chinese society), I recommend: Angry Chinese Customer Smashes Tesla Model S In Protest. The reasons for the destruction are a bit ridiculous (or is that sad?), and will definitely give you something to think about. 🙁

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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