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China breaking all solar power records, aiming for 50GW in 2017

China is leading the world in solar power installations by a long run. ASECEA is predicting that 50GW of solar power is well within reach of being installed this year. In June and July of 2017, China installed 25GW of solar power – and they’ll push the globe past 100GW total for the year.

At China’s ‘State of the Union address’ equivalent, just yesterday, president Xi Jinping said, “Any harm we inflict on nature will eventually return to haunt us… this is a reality we have to face.”

“Taking a driving seat in international cooperation to respond to climate change, China has become an important participant, contributor, and torchbearer in the global endeavor for ecological civilization,” said President Xi Jinping, and that China must “develop a new model of modernization with humans developing in harmony with nature.”

The report, by the Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory, said that by the end of September China had 42GW of solar power installed. Generally, October is a bit slower of a month followed by a strong November-December period.

Large growth occurred in the non-utility distributed solar sector. China made a point, through a new program called ‘Top Runner,’ to install higher efficiency solar panels and to also distribute them to many smaller projects versus only the large, utility-scale work.

China’s 2017 volume is huge compared to recent headlining totals. In September, upward revisions to China’s expected volume made the world celebrate as it pushed projections for global volume in 2017 over 100GW. Last year, China installed 34GW of solar power – by far, already, the largest volume of solar by any country ever in a year. The United States solar market grew by 100% – yet installed ‘only’ 14.6GW. Globally, about 58GW of solar power was installed in 2015, and 41GW in 2014.

For comparison’s sake – a larger than average residential solar system in the USA will be about 10kW. That’s 0.001% of 1GW of solar power.

Electrek’s Take

China has really taken over the solar industry. For a long while, many said China was simply exporting solar panels so they could get more foreign currency. Now, after a decade of heavy investment in the industry China is actually making use of a large majority of the total solar panels they manufacture. Somewhere around 80GW of solar manufacturing capacity exists in China, of 130GW global – using 50 of those 80 gigawatts is clear evidence that China is no longer focusing on exports

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