China has had a fantastically impressive year so far in terms of solar installations, and it doesn’t look like it is planning on stopping anytime soon, as the country managed to install 10.52 GW worth of new solar capacity in July alone.
Further, not only is 2017 a big year for solar installations, but China has already surpassed its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) target of 105 GW solar installations.
New figures published by independent solar industry advisory firm Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory (AECEA) this week show that China installed a whopping 10.52 GW (gigawatts) worth of new solar in July. That’s not bad, but even better when you consider that China installed a mammoth 24.4 GW worth of new solar capacity in the first half of 2017 — including 13.5 GW worth of new capacity in June.
That means in the space of two months (June and July) China installed 24.02 GW — that’s more solar capacity than some countries (read: Australia).
It should come as little surprise, then, that China has already exceeded its solar capacity installation targets wrapped up in its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) of 105 GW. At the end of the first half of 2017, China’s cumulative solar capacity had reached 101.82 GW, putting it now at 112.34 GW.
Further, China is expecting significant solar capacity additions through the second half of 2017 — not least of all because it managed 10.52 GW in July. Specifically, China expects the second half to be fueled by 5.5 GW worth of “Top Runner” project deadlines ending in September, and a state government program of 8 GW of ‘Poverty Alleviation’ schemes throughout the year.
Unsurprisingly, therefore — and with July’s mammoth capacity additions — China has increased its 2017 solar forecast, and now thinks it might be able to install between 40 GW and 45 GW by the end of the year.
Putting solar in comparison with new generation additions, AECEA explained that 1.09 GW worth of new nuclear energy was added in the first seven months of 2017, new hydro capacity was 6.69 GW, and new wind capacity reached 7.3 GW. China did add a total of 18.84 GW worth of new thermal power, but solar still well and truly put that into second place.