According to figures released by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), a combined total of 5.04GW of new solar capacity was grid connected in the first quarter of 2015. 

The NEA said in a statement that the 5.04GW total included 4.38GW of utility-scale solar power plants and 660MW of distributed generation installations. 

Cumulative solar capacity was said to have reached 33.12GW at the end of the first quarter of 2015, which included 27.79GW of utility-scale projects and 5.3GW of distributed generation capacity. 

In a research note to investors, financial analyst Mahesh Sanganeria of RBC Capital Markets the NEA figures accounted for 28.3% of the 17.8GW target the Chinese Government had set for 2015 and was much stronger than Sanganeria had expected.

The RBC Capital analyst noted that historically, installations in China in the first quarter were low, given the late surge at the end of each year. However, the new figures indicate ‘the likelihood of achieving full year installation target,’ Sanganeria wrote in the research note. 

With strong demand also in Japan and the UK in the first quarter as financial year-end and FiT reductions are implemented, Sanganeria noted that he expects the likes of JA Solar, Trina Solar and Yingli Green Energy to ‘to meet or beat their respective Q1 shipment targets.’