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Solar PV Energy: China Leads the Way

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Editor’s Remarks:

Global solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity grew by 50% in 2016, leading to renewables accounting for almost two-thirds of net new global power capacity in the year. Over 74 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity, out of 165 GW of renewables, came online, far outstripping net coal additions of 57 GW, and 29 GW of gas. Much of the growth is coming from China, which has already exceeded its solar capacity targets for 2020 and was responsible for over 40% of global renewable capacity growth in 2016. In 2017, China accounted for 52% of total global solar PV demand and the accompanying strong growth in its PV cell, and wind turbine, manufacturing capacity has helped bring down the cost of capacity. Average auction prices for new solar capacity has fallen from $80 per MWh in 2012 to $60 in 2017, and those for onshore wind capacity is down even more steeply from $165 to $30 per MWh.

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