China has installed enough solar capacity in just six months to equal sunny Australia’s whole supply of solar power. China added 3.3 gigawatts of solar capacity in the 6 months to the end of June, which was double the figure from last year, China’s National Energy Administration has revealed.
China now has a total of 23 gigawatts of solar power capacity installed, which is nearly twice the capacity of the United States, and almost 7 times that of Australia. The country has a stated goal of reaching 35 gigawatts by the end of 2015.
Rapid solar power development has become a high priority of the Chinese government, because of both the need to address climate change, and the serious air pollution in its major cities and industrial regions. Just this week the government announced that in Beijing, one of the big cities choking with air pollution, coal use will be banned by 2020.
China is expecting to install a further 13 gigawatts of solar capacity by the end of the year.