China Q1/2016 PV Capacity

China aims to add 15 GW solar to the grid in 2015, the same amount it connected last year. But in the first quarter 2016 it added much more PV capacity as in the same period last year.
China Q1/2016 PV Capacity
  • China installs 6.17 GW of PV power plants and 970 MW of distributed PV in the first quarter
  • While China targets a new capacity of 15 GW in 2016, in Q1 it already exceeded last year's additions
  • Yunnan was the province that added the largest capacity in the first quarter with 94 MW

China, the biggest solar market of the world, connected 7.14 GW of PV to the grid in the first three months of 2016. According to data the National Energy Administration (NEA) released on April 22, 2016, the country added 6.17 GW of PV power plants and 970 MW of distributed PV.

The country's cumulative solar power capacity now stands at 50.3 GW, which includes 43.29 GW of solar PV plants and 7.03 GW of distributed PV.

The Northern part of the country installed 1.5 GW of new solar capacity, followed by Eastern China (1.31 GW), Central China (1.3 GW) and Southern China (1.04 GW). The cumulative PV capacity in these four regions stands at 25.6 GW.

The regions that installed the largest solar volume in Q1/2016 are Yunnan (94 MW), Shandong (88 MW), Xinjiang Autonomous Region (71 MW), Shanxi Province (60 MW), and Anhui (58 MW).

While China aims to reach 150 GW by 2020 – which would mean at least an average addition of 20 GW per year, it came as a surprise that NEA set a target of 15 GW for 2016 last December (see China plans 15 GW new solar in 2016). The 7.1 GW of new capacity in the first quarter, however, indicates that the country might exceed that 15 GW target. In 2015, when China added 15.13 GW to the grid, it had connected 5 GW during the first quarter, that's 2.1 GW less than this year.

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