China installs 12.55GW of solar in Q3 2021 as distributed PV leads the way

By Carrie Xiao
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More distributed solar was installed in China in the first nine months of 2021 than the entirety of 2020. Image: Fotopedia.

China installed 25.56GW of new solar installations in the first nine months of 2021, with distributed installations accounting for nearly two-thirds (64.2%) of installs in the year to date.

Figures published by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) earlier this week revealed that of the 25.56GW of solar installed in Q1 – Q3 2021, around 9.15GW was centralised utility-scale solar PV while 16.4GW was distributed solar.

While installs climbed greatly in the third quarter – around 12.55GW of solar PV was installed in Q3, with 13.01GW installed in H1 – figures show that installations gradually tapered off throughout the period, indicative of well documented pricing volatility which has been transferred from manufacturers to developers and installers.

But domestic solar deployment continues to deploy at strong levels, NEA figures show. In the first nine months of the year 11.7GW of domestic solar was installed in China, higher than the 10.1GW installed throughout the entirety of 2020.

Figures show that around 2.1GW was installed in September alone, demonstrating a continued acceleration of installations despite price increases and further supporting views from industry stakeholders that distributed solar PV in China will be the source of much activity in years to come.

From a geographical standpoint, Shandong, Hebei and Hanan provinces have led the way in terms of installed PV in 2021 to date, again mainly due to the rapid increase of distributed solar PV capacities in those provinces.

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