China to More Than Triple Solar Power Capacity in Five Years

  • Country to add as much as 20 gigawatts of solar power annually
  • China surpasses Germany in total solar installations in 2015

China plans to more than triple solar power capacity by 2020 to as much as 143 gigawatts to help reduce carbon emissions.

The country will add 15 to 20 gigawatts of photovoltaic power annually in the next five years, Nur Bekri, head of the National Energy Administration, said in a conference in Beijing on Monday.

China accounted for more than a quarter of global solar additions with a record 15.1 gigawatts of installations last year, according to data from the NEA. China’s total solar capacity was 43.2 gigawatts at the end of 2015, surpassing Germany as the country with the most installed solar capacity.

The world’s biggest emitter of global-warming emissions is seeking to use solar energy as a means to help meet its pledge of cutting greenhouse gases. Domestic demand is helping China, the world’s biggest supplier of solar panels, reduce its dependence on exports.

China’s installed solar capacity has surged almost 13-fold since 2011, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Solar energy accounted for 3 percent of the nation’s electricity mix at the end of 2015.

The nation produced 43 gigawatts of solar panels last year, equal to 70 percent of global output, Liang Zhipeng, deputy director at the renewable energy division of the National Energy Administration, said in the conference on Monday.

— With assistance by Feifei Shen

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