BEIJING: China set another record for solar power capacity last year as the country sped up renewable installations to reach its ambitious climate targets.
The nation installed 87.4 gigawatts of solar last year, beating 2021’s record of 54.9 gigawatts, the National Energy Administration said Wednesday.
Additions fell short of bullish industry forecasts in the middle of last year for as much as 100 gigawatts as supply chain disruptions boosted prices and slowed installations.
The price of polysilicon, a key solar material, soared to the highest in a decade last year due to the supply shortfall, driving up panel prices and suppressing demand. The ending of those constraints may see the nation set another record in 2023.
China also added 37.6 gigawatts of wind power in 2022, down 21 percent on the year, the data showed, with installations likely impacted by China’s strict pandemic control measures, including curbs on transport and citywide lockdowns, and the end of subsidies for offshore projects.
Still, the figures show that combined growth in wind and solar capacity reached an all-time high. At the same time, the country added 44.7 gigawatts of thermal power, which is typically fueled by coal, a drop of almost 10 percent.