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BNEF: China To Install 54 GW In 2017
Nov 23, 2017

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As China continues to shatter solar PV installation records, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) researchers have been prompted to boost their estimates for 2017 by as much as 80%, raising a forecast of more than 30 GW set in July to about 54 GW.

With the official 2020 solar PV target of 105 GW still in place, although already exceeded following an installation rush in the first half of the year ahead of the June 30 FIT reduction deadline with a total of 24.4GW of solar capacity added in the period, many of the industry bodies have upped their forecasts for China’s 2017 solar performance. Among them was Asia Europe Clean Energy Consultants (AECEA), which has boosted its estimates two times this year, settling for 40-45 GW solar PV capacity additions in 2017.

Meanwhile, the tremendous growth of the world’s biggest solar market has benefited top panel producers, including JinkoSolar Holding Co. and Trina Solar Ltd. China, which, according to BNEF, installed 43 GW of solar power in the first nine months of 2017, already above the 34.5 GW for all of last year.

That being said, the world’s biggest carbon emitter is getting ready to wrap up 2017 as the second consecutive solar PV deployment breaking year.

According to BNEF, a great surprise came from the deployment figures attributed to the Chinese government’s poverty alleviation program, comprising community-level installations and residential rooftop arrays installed in rural communities, which is being rolled out with the financing support of several state-owned banks.

“The amount of rooftop solar plants and projects aimed at easing poverty were more than expected and developers rushed to build some ground-mounted solar projects before they have been allocated subsidies,” said Yvonne Liu, a BNEF analyst in Beijing.

According to the latest figures released by Asia Europe Clean Energy Consultants (AECEA), up to the end of September, China’s newly added capacity in 2017 amounted to roughly 42 GW, comfortably surpassing the last year’s installation figure of 34.54 GW and placing the country’s total PV capacity at around 120 GW.

China’s National Energy Agency (NEA) is, however, harboring even greener ambitions for the future, as according to its roadmap for the expansion of renewables in the period between 2017 and 2020, the PV target has been set between 21.1 GW and 22.4 GW per year, making it possible for the accumulative solar PV capacity to reach 230 GW.