China added 16 GW of solar capacity from January to September 2019

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has announced that between January to September 2019, the country added 15.99 GW of solar capacity, a decrease of 45 percent year-over-year (YoY) from the 44 GW of capacity added in the same period last year. This includes 7.73 GW of ground-mounted utility-scale projects and 8.26 GW of distributed solar systems, according to Mercom Capital Group. Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory Co. Ltd (ACECA) notes that, during the third quarter, just 4.59 GW was installed compared to about 10 GW in 2018.
According to AECEA Director Frank Haugwitz, the reasons for this significant reduction in installations include, »the relatively late releases and decisions of policies and approved capacities, meeting relatively long lead times to develop a new project, new approaches like a national unified bidding system, continuously falling module prices, which may have induced developers ignoring an CNY 0.01/kWh ($0.00141) higher feed-in-tariff (FiT) if installed before December 31, 2019, among others.« In May a total of 14.78 GW of grid-parity projects were approved, and in July a further 22.78 GW of FiT-supported projects were officially announced in China.
On the contrary to the overall significant decrease of installed PV capacity in the first nine months, in September alone 920 MW of residential PV systems were deployed, thus exceeding the official full-year target of 3.5 GW by 700 MW (4.27 GW), says AECEA. Due to corresponding regulations, residential PV systems shall still be eligible to CNY 0.18/kWh FITs, if installed before October 31. Hence, AECEA is of the opinion that perhaps up to 5 GW of residential PV systems will be installed between January and October 2019. Furthermore, AECEA is of the opinion that especially residential PV may enjoy FITs, even beyond 2021.
At the end of September 2019, China’s cumulative installed solar capacity stood at 190 GW.

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