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China sets world record on solar power installations | South China Morning Post

Figures indicating the installation of 12GW of solar power last year show ‘astonishing’ scale of the market, with experts forecasting further growth
THE GUARDIAN
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 February, 2014, 2:56am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 February, 2014, 2:56am

Workers walk between solar panels on the roof of Hangzhou East railway station in Zhejiang province. Photo: AP
China installed a record 12GW of solar power last year, doubling its rate of solar installations, according to preliminary figures. This is more than has ever been installed by any country in a single year and means that the mainland installed three times more solar energy last year than the total British solar capacity.

No country has ever added more than 8GW of solar power in one year before, according to an analysis by Li Shuo of Greenpeace East Asia. It was also more solar than China had installed in all the years prior to last year put together, said Li.

The preliminary figure is estimated by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) which tracks energy figures globally. BNEF said the figure may even be 14GW due to a rush to install solar energy towards the end last year due to a feed-in tariff for large photovoltaic (PV) projects that ended on December 31. A final figure was expected next month.

Other estimates have put the figure lower, but these could also rise due to the end-of-year increase. The Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association put the figure at 10.7GW and mainland media has quoted industry sources putting the figure at least 9.5GW.

Li explained that a lot of figures were based on the first 10 or 11 months of the year with a projection for December. “There was definitely a rush in the last two months of the year in ramping up solar installation capacity, ” he said.

Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at BNEF, said: “The 2013 figures show the astonishing scale of the Chinese market, now the sleeping dragon has awoken. PV is becoming ever cheaper and simpler to install, and China’s government has been as surprised as European governments by how quickly it can be deployed in response to incentives.”

In total, China added just over 100GW of new power generation capacity last year. According to BNEF figures, this is larger than the entire electricity capacity of the UK or South Korea. Coal still remains China’s main power source with 39.7GW coal-fired capacity installed last year. Hydro power saw the next largest increase, with 30.5GW added, while wind saw 14.1GW added.

More http://m.scmp.com/lifestyle/technology/article/1424179/china-sets-world-record-solar-power-installations

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