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China’s solar capacity expected to hit 1,000 GW by 2026: Rystad Energy


China’s installed solar capacity will double to 1,000 gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2026 as the world’s second-largest economy continues to ramp up investment in renewables, energy research firm Rystad Energy wrote in a note published on Monday.

Beijing had set a goal of boosting the country’s installed capacity of wind and solar power to more than 1,200 GW by 2030.

China had installed 365 GW of wind power capacity and 392 GW of solar capacity by the end of last year – about a third of the world’s total. The country’s installed capacity is expected to top 500 GW by the end of 2023, the note added.

“China’s national program to build out solar capacity, launched in June 2021, has led to a significant boost in large-scale projects,” said Yicong Zhu, senior renewables and power analyst at Rystad.
The note added China’s investment in solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity was 3.4 times higher than its investment on thermal power during the first half of 2023. However, utility-scale solar PV development, that produce 10 megawatts (MW) or more of energy, has been concentrated in its less populous northwestern parts due to geographical advantages. “There is limited land availability and costs are high in coastal regions, so large-scale utility solar PV developments are not feasible,” the note added. The challenges have paved the way for more investment in rooftop solar and provinces such as Henan, Shandong and Hubei have seen a surge in installations, Rystad said.

Despite the growth, some provinces are lagging behind in meeting their province-specific goals for installed capacity, the note added.

“Overall, all provinces will need to bring at least 250 GW of solar PV capacity online by the end of 2025 to achieve their respective targets,” Rystad noted.

(Reporting by Sourasis Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)


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