According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), in 2013 China installed 12 gigawatts of new solar panels, which is more than any other country has ever installed in a single year. It’s also almost equal to the total amount of solar panels currently installed in United States.
No nation has ever installed more than 8 gigawatts of solar power in a single year, and it’s more than China has installed in all previous years combined. There was a rush to install a lot of solar power near the end of 2013 in China, as a feed-in-tariff for large solar panel projects was due to run out at the end of the year.
What’s more, installations are expected to rise further to 14 gigawatts of solar capacity in 2014. Globally, solar installations rose 28% to 39 gigawatts in 2013. China is now the largest solar market in the world, moving ahead of Germany, as solar installations in China tripled from 3.6 gigawatts in 2012.
One lingering issue with installed solar power in China is that about 30% of the solar capacity installed last year is still waiting to be connected to the power grid. However, BNEF says that solar developers are not concerned with this, as it’s only a matter of time before grid connection happens; it’s not an issue that’s hindering further fast-paced development. Out of the 14 gigawatts expected to be installed this year, as much as 60% is expected to be roof-top solar, rather than large-scale projects.