China’s development plans have been announced by the central government in the form of a series of five-year plans. According to the 13th five-year plan for economic and social development of the people’s Republic of China, Section 3 titled “Smart Energy System” states the following
- Construction of 60 gigawatts of regular hydropower capacity, giving priority to hydropower development in the southwest.
- Coordinate the development of end-use markets and power transmission routes; take ordered steps to optimize the development of wind energy and photovoltaic energy in the northern, northeastern, and northwestern regions and in coastal areas .
These points mean that the 13th five-year plan has not only provided good opportunities to accelerate the development of distributed photovoltaic power in the central, eastern, and southern regions of China but also makes floating photovoltaic (FPV) a potential candidate that covers both of these targets.
China has been a dominant force in both the annual and cumulative solar photovoltaic (PV) installed capacity. The dominant trend first began in 2013. In 2017, China accounted for more than half the global solar PV installed capacity, 52.8 GW, at that time and it was one of the country’s milestones in renewable energy. However, the country so far hasn’t experienced such a stunning share again in the solar energy sector due to the emergence of other markets in the rest of the world, e.g. Vietnam and Ukraine.
It is important to note that China accounted for one-third of the cumulative solar capacity by the end of 2019. According to in-country analyst the Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory (AECEA), China’s annual and cumulative solar capacity have reached 44.3 GW and 248.3 GW respectively in spite of the COVID-19 outbreak. To sum up here, China has led the path to solar power adoption as well as opened up its door to further expansion of solar power technologies, especially the photovoltaic (PV) module. But what challenges are there for further expansion of this technology?
The story is continued in the next part…
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