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Solar Market Trends

China added 18.7 GW of PV capacity in the first nine months of 2020

November 6, 2020 PV Men


The National Energy Administration (NEA) said on Oct. 30 that China’s installed renewable capacity hit 837 million kWh at the end of September, a 9.6% increase year-on-year, suggesting steady growth.

Of the total new renewable capacity additions, 365 million kWh came from hydropower (with 30.89 million kWh in the form of pumped storage hydropower), 223 million kWh from wind power, 223 million kWh from solar energy, and 26.16 million kWh from biomass energy.

China’s renewable usage continues to increase. In the January-September period, renewable energy generation reached 1.5305 trillion kWh, up 6.5% year-on-year. Of which, 902.5 billion kWh was generated by hydropower (up 1% YoY), 331.7 billion kWh by wind (up 13.8% YoY), 200.5 billion kWh by solar (up 16.9% YoY), and 95.8 billion kWh by biomass (up 19.2% YoY).

Updates on the construction and operation of PV systems

China added 18.7 million kWh of new solar capacity in the January-September period. Of which 10.04 million kWh was installed in PV plants and 8.66 million kWh in distributed solar. China’s cumulative installed solar capacity reached 223 million kWh at the end of September.

In terms of regional distribution of solar deployment, 8 million kWh of capacity was deployed in North China, 1.27 million kWh in the northeast, 1.97 million kWh in the northwest, 3.5 million kWh in the east, 2.04 million kWh in the central region, and 1.93 million kWh in the south.

Over the three-quarter period, the nation’s solar generation totaled 200.5 billion kWh, a 16.9% growth year-on-year. The average number of hours of PV system utilization nationwide was 916 hours, up 6 hour year-on-year. The average number of hours of PV system utilization was particularly higher in the northeastern region with 1,141 hours, northern region with 1,010 hours, western Mongolia with 1,264 hours, eastern Mongolia with 1,240 hours, and Heilongjiang with 1,170 hours.

In the first three quarters of 2020, 3.43 billion kWh of PV was lost to curtailment across China, with an average curtailment rate of 1.7%—down 0.2% year-on-year. PV curtailment was highest in Tibet, Qinghai, and Xinjiang. Specifically, 100 million kWh of PV was curtailed in Tibet with a curtailment rate of 8.7%, down 11.9% year-on-year; 940 million kWh of PV was curtailed in Qinghai with a curtailment rate of 7%, up 1.2% year-on-year; and 560 million kWh of PV was curtailed in Xinjiang with a curtailment rate of 4.5%, down 4.4% year-on-year.

Source: PV Men 

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