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article imageChina's NEA claims solar production more than doubled in 2016

By Karen Graham     Feb 6, 2017 in Technology
Beijing - China's National Energy Administration (NEA) released its solar photovoltaic (PV) installation figures for the entire year of 2016 in mid-January, laying claim to being the world's biggest producer of solar energy by capacity.
Engadget is reporting that the NEA revealed its solar power production more than doubled in 2016, reaching 77.42 gigawatts by the end of the year.
According to the agency, 34.54 gigawatts of installed PV capacity were added over the course of the year. Looking at the statistics, this means that less than an additional 30 GW are necessary, in order to meet China’s 105 GW solar PV target by 2020. Keep in mind that these numbers reflect installed capacity.
Three provinces, Shandong, Xinjiang, and Henan, saw the most installed capacity, while Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai and Inner Mongolia had the greatest overall capacity by the end of 2016. These latest figures are more in line with the reduction of China's "solar target for 2020" made in November 2016 when it was reduced from 150 GW to 110 GW.
Between 2009 and 2015 the cost of solar power fell by 80 percent  making it competitive against gas ...
Between 2009 and 2015 the cost of solar power fell by 80 percent, making it competitive against gas and coal in some countries
Jack Guez, AFP/File
Solar energy accounted for 66.2 billion kilowatt-hours of power in 2016, a mere 1.0 percent of China's total power generation. Yet, given the technology available today, China does have a chance to boost non-fossil fuel generated power to 20 percent by 2030, up from 11 percent in 2016.
And while China is giving other nations a reason to up their installed solar PV capacity and become energy dependent, the nation is still grappling with an economic slowdown that has also created less demand for electricity across the country. Those solar PV installations will do no good unless they are hooked up to the electrical grid.
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