- CEC expects China to exit 2022 with non-fossil fuel power generation capacity accounting for half of the total power mix estimated to be 1,300 GW
- It would include cumulative solar power capacity of 400 GW, which means it would be an increase of around 90 GW from 306 reported officially for 2021-end
- Chinese electricity consumption is to increase on annual basis by 5% to 6% to 8.7 trillion kWh to 8.8 trillion kWh, as per the CEC report
China Electricity Council (CEC), a local industry association in China, expects the country’s cumulative grid connected solar power capacity at the end of 2022 to reach 400 GW, which would be an increase from 306 GW it reached by 2021-end, meaning the Asian giant could be looking at over 90 GW of annual additions this year.
Though China is the biggest solar market and will continue to be so over the next few years, the about 90 GW annual addition does sound very optimistic. Currently, the global solar market is still dealing with high prices of raw materials amidst short supply issues, not to miss high freight costs. On the other hand, the rooftop solar segment is very hot in China, and any price decrease will only make it more attractive.
However, if CEC’s forecast does come true, it would strongly contribute to China’s wind and solar target of 1,200 GW it aims for 2030 under carbon neutrality objectives of President Xi Jingping (see China NDC For 1.2 TW Wind & Solar By 2030).
The CEC makes its assertions on solar in its 2021-2022 National Electricity Supply and Demand Situation Analysis and Forecast Report which it recently released during a press conference. The report is available on CEC’s website.
According to the CEC, in 2022 China is expected to install around 230 GW of new power generation capacity which would take the country’s cumulative capacity to about 2,600 GW. To this, with the estimated annual addition of 180 GW, non-fossil fuel power will contribute close to 1,300 GW, which means it would account for half of China’s total installed power generation capacity for the 1st time.
On the other hand, installed capacity of coal power is estimated to stand at 1,140 GW. CEC expects Chinese electricity consumption to increase on annual basis by 5% to 6% up to 8.7 trillion kWh to 8.8 trillion kWh.
For wind energy whose total capacity as per the NEA reached 328 GW at 2021-end, the CEC forecasts it to increase to 380 GW by 2022-end, translating into 52 GW annual addition in 2022. Hydropower capacity is forecast to increase to 410 GW from 391 GW at the end of December 2021.
On Jan. 20, 2022, the National Energy Administration (NEA) estimated China to have added 53 GW of new solar capacity in 2021, taking the cumulative to 306 GW (see China Added 53 GW Record Solar Volume In 2021). A little later, on Jan. 28, 2022, it revised the final PV installation numbers for 2021 upwards to 54.88 GW, with annual solar additions coming from 25.6 GW utility scale and 29.28 GW distributed PV.