(Yicai) Sept. 21 -- China’s installed solar power capacity more than doubled in the first eight months of this year, according to new data from an industry organization.
The country’s installed photovoltaic power capacity surged 155 percent to 113 gigawatts in the eight months ended Aug. 31, the figures released by the China Photovoltaic Industry Association showed today. Production of polycrystalline silicon, silicon wafers, solar cells and PV panels from January to July equaled 80 percent of last year’s entire output, it added.
China is a global leader in solar power, investing heavily in the clean energy source -- from research and development to manufacturing and infrastructure -- as a way to achieve peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. It is home to some of the world’s biggest solar farms, led by the Golmud Solar Park in Qinghai province, which has an installed capacity of 2.8 GW.
Installed capacity of renewable energy surpassed that of coal power for the first time this year, and most of that was solar power, Wang Bohua, the CPIA’s honorary chairman, said at an industry forum today.
Installed distributed PV capacity, which accounts for most solar energy systems in central and eastern China, made up 52 percent of total installed PV capacity in the first half of the year, up from half in 2021, Wang said. Centralized systems are mainly installed in western China because of the large wind and solar power plant projects in the region.
Exports of silicon wafers, solar cells and PV modules stumbled in July. Exports rose 4.6 percent in the first seven months of 2023 from a year ago to USD32.5 billion, slowing from an 11.6 percent clip in the first half, the data showed.
One of the main reasons for July’s poor showing was a 30-percent drop in solar panel prices, Wang said. Expecting a decline, exporters held off.
“There has been a shift in export destinations and more PV goods are heading towards emerging markets,” he said. Europe remains China’s biggest foreign market, South Africa has made the top 10 for the first time, while India has dropped out of the top 10.
Exports of solar panels to all markets outside of the top 10 in the first seven months accounted for 38 percent of PV-related exports, a big jump from last year’s 26 percent, he added.
Editor: Kim Taylor