China’s National Energy Administration has claimed the country installed a fantastic 34.2 gigawatts of new solar PV in 2016, up significantly on expert predictions.
According to several reports translating an announcement from the Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA), China connected 34.24 gigawatts (GW) of new solar PV capacity to the country’s grid in 2016, well up on expectations and an increase of 126% on the previous years’ installations. This also brings the country’s cumulative solar capacity up to 77.42 GW.
China’s phenomenal levels of solar may not astound everyone, especially if we keep in mind news from earlier in 2016 when the NEA announced that the country had already installed 22 GW of grid-connected solar PV in the first six months of 2016 alone — including a whopping 11.3 GW in June.
Experts had predicted China would only manage to install somewhere in the high 20 GW or even 30 GW worth of new solar, but China’s ambition and desire to lead has yielded significantly impressive solar capacity additions. Over the next few months we may find that some of China’s announced-figures bear some exaggeration — as we saw a year ago, when there were questions about whether all of China’s new capacity had actually been connected to the grid. However, China has been making strides to firm up its grid infrastructure to minimize curtailment, so we may end up finding out that China’s announced figures were all above-board.