China officially added 24.4GW in first half of 2017

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Floating projects and Panda-shaped arrays have grabbed headlines during China's record H1 deployment this year. Source: Ciel & Terre.

China officially added 24.4GW of solar power capacity in the first half of 2017, according to new government data.

The figures were released by the National Energy Administration (NEA) on Friday evening. The equivalent figure in 2016 was 22GW and in 2015 just 7.7GW.

The 2017 numbers are in line with those published by the China PV Industry Association last month.

NEA data confirms grid connection for the purposes of subsidy awards so does not necessarily suggest H1 construction of just 24.4GW. The primary driver for large H1 totals in NEA data is the cut-off for feed-in tariff (FiT) support prior to a degression.

The NEA data, first circulated by the Asia Europe Clean Energy Advisory (AECEA), included 7.11GW of distributed PV installations.

Frank Haugwitz, director of AECEA, noted that curtailment dropped 4.5% with the growing proportion of distributed solar PV lowering the national figure. Xinjiang and Gansu provinces remain the hardest hit with curtailment rates of 26% and 22%.

AECEA expects developers to make additional efforts to avoid curtailment as less generous FiT payments tighten margins.

Last month the NEA published updated targets for 2020. The NEA has guided the solar PV target to be 190GW to 200GW at the end of the 13th Five-Year-Plan, providing a floor installation target of 86.5GW by the end of 2020.

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