Power Generation and Cumulative Capacity of Solar PV Power Plants in China (2017 – 2021)

  • Net electricity generated by Solar PV power plants in China reached 308,076.3 GWh in 2021, growing 17.9% YoY

  • During the same year, the cumulative capacity of Solar PV power plants in China reached 313,230.0 MW, growing 23.5% YoY

  • Power generation recorded a historical growth at a CAGR of 27.0% between 2017 and 2021, while the cumulative capacity growth at 24.5% between 2017 and 2021

Power Generation and Cumulative Capacity of Solar PV Power Plants in China (2017 – 2021)

Published: Dec 2021
Source: GlobalData

With ever increasing energy demands, rising levels of pollution, fear of global warming, scarcity of fossil fuels, and increasing levels of greenhouse gases (GHG), many countries have opted for clean renewable energy sources. Many countries have signed protocols with pre-defined emission reduction targets. The Paris Agreement is the most recent step taken by several countries whereby each country voluntarily determined their emission reduction targets, presented them and pledged to achieve GHG reductions according to these targets. Several countries that have been party to the Paris Agreement have devised plans to reduce conventional power and aid the growth of renewable power to reduce emissions. The main renewable energy sources are Hydro, Geothermal, Wind, Solar, and Biopower.   

Solar photovoltaics (PV) is an emerging technology for generating energy. Solar PV system converts sunlight into electrical energy. This technology is growing rapidly owing to the low investment required, compared to other renewable technologies. A solar PV system is powered by many interconnected PV cells, which are light-sensitive semiconductor materials assembled in the form of modules. Several modules connected form a PV array. The electricity generated is supplied to the electrical grid or to the consumer directly. 

The global installed capacity for solar PV increased from 38,532 megawatts (MW) in 2010 to 738,891 MW in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.4%. The global installed solar PV capacity is expected to reach 2,809,170 MW by 2030.  China, United States of America, Japan, India, and Germany were the top five solar PV power generation markets in 2021.  

China is the largest solar PV market, with a cumulative installed capacity of 313,230 MW as of 2021, growing at a CAGR of 24.5% between 2017 and 2021. The solar PV power generation increased to 308,076 GWh of electricity in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 27.0% between 2017 and 2021.  

In 2018, China increased its target for renewables to account for at least 35% of electricity consumption by 2030, according to a revised draft plan from NDRC. Previously, the government set a goal for non-fossil fuels to make up 20% of power generation by 2030. In the 14th fiver year plans of China, the target was re-adjusted to 20% share of non-fossil fuels in the generation mix by 2025. The country also looks to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2060. 

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