China Added Over 30 GW of Solar Capacity in 2019

Cumulative solar capacity now stands at 204 GW


China added 30.11 GW of new solar capacity in 2019. Large-scale projects made up 17.91 GW and 12.2 GW of installations was through distributed projects, according to the official statistics released by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA).

According to the latest statistics, installations declined by  31.9% year-over-year (YoY), compared to 2018, which saw 44.26 GW of solar installations.

From January to September 2019, the country added 16 GW of solar capacity, a decrease of 45% YoY from the 44 GW of capacity added in the same period in 2018, as reported previously by Mercom.

Cumulative solar installations stood at 174 GW at the end of 2019.

According to the NEA, the newly installed capacity in North China was 8.58 GW, while South China’s new installed capacity was 4.72 GW.

China Solar PV Installations (MW), 2010 - 2019

In 2019, the country’s photovoltaic power generation reached 224.3 million MWh, an increase of 26.3% year-on-year. The photovoltaic utilization hours were 1,169 hours, showing an increase of 54 hours.

In January 2020, a report by Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory Co. Ltd (AECEA), pointed out that 2020 may not be much different from 2019, with grid parity being the priority followed by utility-scale, distributed PV and residential PV projects. The AECEA report further noted that the other area of growth would be the ‘solar storage charging,’ which can be used to charge electric vehicles, and has been put into use in various provinces during 2019. The EV market is growing at a rapid rate, and the estimated electricity consumption by EVs, which was approximately 5 TWh in 2019, would increase to 32 TWh by 2025.

Currently, the Chinese solar industry and its economy are reeling due to the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus. The pandemic has claimed thousands of lives, and its impact on the country’s solar industry and its exports are yet to be gauged fully.

Amid the increasing doubt on the supply chains due to the spread of the deadly virus in China, the Indian Ministry of Finance has issued a clarification that Coronavirus will be covered in the force majeure clause and would be considered as a case of natural calamity.


Image credit: USGS/NASA Landsat / Public domain