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Solar installations rise to 23 GW after additions in H1

By Bloomberg (China Daily) Updated: 2014-08-08 07:00

China, the world's biggest carbon emitter, accelerated solar power installations in the first half, adding enough capacity in the period to equal Australia's entire supply of power from sunlight in 2013.

China added 3.3 gigawatts of solar capacity in the six months to June 30, doubling last year's additions, the National Energy Administration said on Thursday.

A total of 23 GW of solar power supply is almost seven times that of Australia, whose government describes it as the world's highest recipient of radiation per square meter.

China's race to add renewable energy comes as policymakers push for ways to combat the nation's growing problem of air pollution.

Just this week, Beijing ordered official vehicles off the road and urged the use of public transport to ensure smog-free skies for a preparatory meeting ahead of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November.

Utility-scale photovoltaic power plants accounted for 2.3 GW of the new capacity in the first half, with distributed projects comprising the remainder, the NEA said.

The northwestern Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region led the way, with 900 megawatts of photovoltaic power plants in the first six months followed by the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Qinghai and Shanxi. The eastern province of Jiangsu added 270 MW of distributed solar capacity, according to the NEA.

Distributed generation refers to electricity produced at or near where it is used. In the case of solar, distributed projects typically include rooftops or ground-mounted panels near facilities such as sporting arenas or municipal buildings.

The agency plans to install 13 GW of solar power capacity this year by supporting the development of distributed solar power generation, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Wu Xinxiong, the NEA's head.

China may announce policies as early as this month to encourage such installations, people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak publicly, said earlier this week.

"Demand will be quite positive" from August in China, Xie Jian, president of JA Solar Holdings Co, said in an interview last month.

Solar installations rise to 23 GW after additions in H1 Solar installations rise to 23 GW after additions in H1
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