A source at the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) has told pv magazine the nation added 12.2 GW of new solar generation capacity last month to beat full-year forecasts of 24-26 GW made in October, by hitting 30.1 GW for 2019.
With the world’s biggest solar market having seen only 17.99 GW of new PV generation capacity to the end of November, however, 30 GW or so would still mark a 31.8% retreat from the amount added in 2018.
After hitting a peak 53 GW of new solar in 2017, this year’s figure – once confirmed – would mark a second significant fall in new capacity.
The much-publicized delay in publishing a new national solar policy last year meant several solar projects were unable to achieve their December 31 deadline for full subsidy payments for the electricity they will generate. Major renewables investors also turned to wind power because of the tight solar-subsidy project-completion deadline and engineering, procurement and construction services providers also delayed projects to take advantage of continuing steep falls in the price of components.
While the CPIA – and some solar manufacturers – have predicted China will recover sufficiently to install 40 GW of solar capacity this year, other industry insiders have said the nation will deploy only 20-25 GW per year for the foreseeable future.