BUSINESS Investment in H1 solar power sees surge of nearly 284%


Investment in H1 solar power sees surge of nearly 284%

China Daily

11:07, July 26, 2022

Technicians carry out maintenance work on rooftop solar panels of a power plant in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, on July 5. (Photo: China Daily)

Investment in solar power generation projects surged 283.6 percent year-on-year to 63.1 billion yuan ($9.35 billion) in the first half, the National Energy Administration said.

Newly increased installed capacity of solar power in the first six months rocketed 1,787 percent year-on-year to stand at 30.88 million kilowatts, while total installed capacity of solar power increased 25.8 percent year-on-year to 340 million kW, said the NEA.

"The big increase in both investment and newly added installed capacity was buoyed by supportive policies for new energy development as China transitions to a low-carbon society," said Lin Boqiang, dean of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University.

At the end of 2021, China launched its first batch of massive wind and solar power projects totaling 97.05 gigawatts in capacity in the Gobi Desert and other arid regions across 19 provinces.

To date, nearly 90 percent of the projects have begun construction, said the NEA.

The country said in July to have started construction of the second batch of wind and solar power projects in desert regions.

"Desert areas in West China have good wind and solar resources, and lower land costs compared with other regions. Construction of wind and solar power projects also helps with the process of fighting desertification. It's a win-win move," Lin said.

Aside from developing solar power in desert areas, a statement jointly released by the National Development and Reform Commission-China's top economic regulator-and the NEA outlined a series of other measures, including encouraging setting up rooftop solar panels in rural areas in order to achieve the goal of increasing total installed capacity of wind and solar power to over 1.2 billion kW by 2030.

"Developing rooftop solar power units has many advantages, like not requiring costly transmission infrastructure, and they require minimal maintenance, sport efficient power generation and make up an important part of China's solar sector development," Lin said.

Rooftop installations in China increased from 19.4 gigawatts in 2017 to 27.3 GW in 2021, and the increase also drove the world's total rooftop solar capacity, said Rystad Energy, an energy research company based in Oslo, Norway.

"Currently, solar power only makes up about 5 percent of all sources of power generated. It is likely that solar power will take up about 65 percent in the future under China's strong green commitment," Lin added.

The country has pledged to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

"China's solar companies are striving to reduce production costs, increase installations and accelerate the development of new technologies. Going forward, the sector will continue to surge and has great potential for further development," Lin said.

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