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China Solar Capacity Additions Keep Dropping but Remains the World’s Largest

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The solar capacity additions in China dropped to just 30 GW down from around 45 GW in 2018. The 30 GW was also much ahead of forecasts as almost 40% of the year’s entire total capacity got added in December of 2019 itself. China peaked at 53 GW in 2018 and since then the total annual capacity additions have been dropping. This is mainly due to the reduced subsidies as well as the transmission capacity constraints being faced from the key generation regions. There also has been considerable policy confusion which led to many developers not going ahead with project installations. Despite the 30% plus drop in annual solar capacity additions, China is by far the largest market for solar energy in the world with around 30% of the total global market. China was bound to see a slowdown in solar capacity additions as a pace of 50 GW plus of annual capacity additions is not sustainable for a country even as large as China with its massive power requirements.

Frameless solar panels

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While China has been slowing down, the global capacity additions have not seen a significant drop mainly due to the slack being taken up by other countries. Europe has seen a significant resurgence last year, more than doubling its annual capacity solar additions, on the back of solar tariffs reaching below grid parity in most countries such as Spain and Italy, by a significant amount. The pressure of meeting RE targets due to climate change concerns has also been driving solar energy growth in Europe. There are many countries that have also entered the 1 GW plus club as costs of solar energy have fallen below fossil fuel plants, making it highly attractive to install solar plants based on economics alone. Also, read Green Parties Push European Countries to go Carbon Neutral

China remains not only the biggest market for solar energy but is also by far the most significant manufacturing country for solar products. Its 10 GW plus factories dwarf other countries in terms of scale and cost and large companies such as Longi have exponential growth plans over the coming years.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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