China’s total cumulative solar capacity has surpassed 50 GW, after the country’s National Energy Administration revealed that the first quarter saw 7.14 GW of new solar capacity added.
According to figures released by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), the first quarter of 2016 saw the country’s solar industry add 7.14 GW in capacity, bringing its cumulative solar capacity up to 50.3 GW, up 52%. In total, China’s solar capacity is made up of 43.29 GW of ground-mounted solar PV power plants, and another 7.03 GW of distributed solar PV.
China’s north, east, central, and southern regions all installed more than 1 GW of new capacity, installing respectively 1.5 GW, 1.31 GW, 1.3 GW, and 1.04 GW.
Overall, the quarter saw 6.17 GW of ground-mounted PV plants installed, and 970 MW of distributed PV.
Unsurprisingly, grid curtailment of solar power remains a serious issue, with 1.9 billion kWh out of the total 11.8 billion kWh of PV generation was lost. China is seeking to mitigate renewable grid curtailment by prioritizing renewable energy over fossil fuel where possible, and by building out infrastructure across the country. Xinjiang, Gansu, and Ningxia were the three provinces with the highest levels of curtailment — 52%, 39%, and 20% respectively.