November 2 (Solar) – China brought live 34.5 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the first nine months of 2018, bringing the total cumulative to 164.74 GW, shows data by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA).
Of the total 164.74 GW of solar parks in the country, some 117.9 GW are utility-scale plants and 46.8 GW are distributed generation (DG) facilities.
Solar PV deployments in the first three quarters marked a 20% drop in annual terms from the 43 GW installed in January-September 2017. A bit more than half of the newly-commissioned capacity came from the utility-scale sector, which registered a 37% year-on-year increase with installations totalling 17.4 GW, whereas the DG segment accounted for 17.1 GW.
According to Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory (AECEA), the Asian country will end 2018 with between 30 GW and 35 GW of fresh PV installations, which is lower than its earlier guidance of 40 GW-45 GW. Other analysts, including Wood Mackenzie, GTM Research, Roth and Daiwa Capital, guide for 28 GW-35 GW.
The overall drop in installations is expected following a government decision for a 10-GW cap on DG projects and new policies to cut feed-in tariffs (FiT) for the second half of 2018. In spite of the latest policy changes, China’s DG capacity will most likely exceed the 20-GW threshold by the end of the year, analysts say.