BNEF: China to install 54 GW in 2017

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As China continues to shatter solar PV installation records, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) researchers have been prompted to boost their 2017 installment estimates from more than 45 GW set in July to 51-54 GW.

With the official 2020 solar PV target of 105 GW still in place, although, according to some estimates, already exceeded following an installation rush in the first half of the year ahead of the June 30 FIT reduction deadline with a total of 24.4GW of solar capacity added in the period, many of the industry bodies have upped their forecasts for China’s 2017 solar performance. Among them was Asia Europe Clean Energy Consultants (AECEA), which boosted its August forecast of 40-45 GW solar PVcapacity additions in 2017 to over 50 GW.

The world’s biggest solar market has, according to BNEF, installed 43 GW of solar power in the first nine months of 2017, bringing benefits to top panel producers, including JinkoSolar Holding and Trina Solar, thus already exceeding the 34.5 GW for all of last year.

That being said, the world’s biggest carbon emitter is getting ready to wrap up 2017 as the second consecutive solar PV deployment breaking year.

According to BNEF, a significant role is played by the deployment figures attributed to the Chinese government’s poverty alleviation program, comprising community-level installations and residential rooftop arrays installed in rural communities, which is being rolled out with the financing support of several state-owned banks.

“The amount of rooftop solar plants and projects aimed at easing poverty were more than expected and developers rushed to build some ground-mounted solar projects before they have been allocated subsidies,” said Yvonne Liu, a BNEF analyst in Beijing.

According to the latest figures released by Asia Europe Clean Energy Consultants (AECEA), up to the end of September, China’s newly added capacity in 2017 amounted to roughly 42 GW, comfortably surpassing the last year’s installation figure of 34.54 GW and placing the country’s total PV capacity at around 120 GW.

This article was amended on November 23 to state that the BNEF 2017 installment estimates made in July were 45 GW, rather than 30 GW as previously reported, and to provide a precise estimated installment range of 51-54 GW, following a confirmation from BNEF analyst Yvonne Liu.

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