China installed 7.73GW of solar in the first half of 2015 as it continued to chase its target of 17.8GW by the end of the year.

Of the 7.73GW. 6.69GW was utility-scale solar and 1.04GW was distributed generation. Beijing-based solar industry consultant, Frank Haugwitz said the figures offered few surprises.

“The fairly large share of utility-scale is no surprise, given the myriad of prevailing constraints attached to classical distributed projects. If you look at the provincial breakdown, it’s no surprise that a few provinces so far underperformed, in other cases it’s rather the opposite, they out-perform,” he says.

Haugwitz expects China to deploy no less than 14-15GW and is optimistic that it could reach 16-17GW with a bullish position of 18GW.

“Q2/15 witnessed the installation of 2.69GW which is not bad, considering that the announcement of this year’s annual target was made in mid-March,” he says. “That means the local governments only had guidance on how much quota was allocated to them after March. Q2 is traditionally a ‘weaker quarter’ because after the local government receives the annual quota allocated to them, they need time to initiate local administrative work, companies need to know how much in a given province/prefecture/city can be installed, and then companies need to know how to apply for projects. Due to fine-tuning efforts such project applications guidelines change annually.”

Slow uptake of DG solar in 2014 and the delay in grid connection of some projects completed towards the end of the year meant that the country installed 10.6GW of solar, short of its maximum quota of 14GW.

Read more about China’s prospects of installing 20GW of solar in 2015 in Frank Haugwitz’s latest blog for PV Tech.