China: the World’s Biggest Producer of Solar Energy by Capacity
In 2016, China doubled its solar power capacity and became the world’s biggest producer of solar energy by capacity.
According to figures released by the National Energy Administration (NEA) in February, installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity rose to 77.42 gigawatts at the end of 2016, and prior to that it had risen with about 34.54 gigawatts throughout the year.
The provinces that had the greatest increase in capacity include Shandong, Xinjiang, Henan, Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, and Inner Mongolia.
According to the NEA, Solar plants generated 66.2 billion kilowatt-hours of power or about 1 % of China’s total power generation last year. This figure will continue to increase as more capacity will further be added over the course of the next three years. The NEA’s solar power development plan aims to add more than 110 gigawatts of capacity within the 2016-2020 period. This can be seen in the light of China’s greater aim of having at least 20% of its electricity generation sourced from non-fossil fuel by 2030. According to Reuters (2017), China plans to spend about 2.5 trillion yuan on renewable energy in order to reach this goal.
Ryan Woo, Reuters, 2017
Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, 2017
*Featured image: Feature China/Barcroft Images, Ryan Woo, Reuters, 2017