China doubles rate of solar installation in one year

Insights — December 2022

China’s rate of solar installation in 2022 equal to all of the United State’s existing capacity

According to China’s National Energy Administration, by the end of September this year China had installed 53GW of new solar capacity (+106% year-over-year). Based on the pace of installations year-to-date and expectations for the fourth quarter (especially for utility-scale projects, which have underwhelmed so far this year due to project delays and environmental reviews), clean energy research house BNEF increased its full-year forecast for installations to 126GW (nearly 30% above its previous forecast of 99GW).

Putting this in context, the whole of the US is estimated to have total solar electricity generation capacity of c.131GW (which has taken decades to install).

The key drivers for China’s acceleration appear to be power shortages over the summer months and rising electricity prices which are resulting in the rapid expansion of solar capacity in residential, commercial and industrial installations. This data point once again emphasises the impact that China is having and will continue to have on the demand for clean energy technology and its associated value chains.