In the first quarter of this year, China added 5.2 gigawatts (GW) of installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity, according to the National Energy Administration. The figure is a drop from the 9.65 GW in the same period of 2018, due to the new policy on the construction of PV facilities for 2019 having been issued later in the year than similar policies issued in earlier years.
Nevertheless, compared with wind, PV energy remains the most favored renewable in China.
In the context of the temporary decline in newly installed capacity, China’s PV module production rose 47.5 percent year-on-year to 11.8 GW during the January-February period.
In the first quarter, most of China’s first-tier PV module manufacturers were in full production, with the order books of some of the leading firms already booked through the end of the first half.
Industry analysts noted that the popularity of Chinese-made PV products in the first quarter was due to the fact that the first quarter is the end of the fiscal year in several countries that are key export destinations, including India, Japan and the UK.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted that the world’s total installed PV capacity is expected to reach 1,721 GW by 2030, and further increase to 4,670 GW by 2050. Based on this, the installed capacity is expected to increase 101.42 GW annually on average from 2018 to 2030, then jump to 402.5 GW a year from 2030 to 2050.
Based on the increase in installed PV capacity globally, China’s PV makers, with leading-edge technologies such as the PERC battery technology, are expected to be the winners in the development of the industry, according to Hu Dan, senior analyst at IHS Markit.

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