BEIJING Jan 21 China is likely to have
surpassed Germany in the fourth quarter as the country with the
most solar capacity, despite missing its target for 2015,
industry data showed on Thursday.
China's installed photovoltaic solar capacity stood at 43
gigawatts (GW) by the end of the year, up about 15 gigawatts
from 2014, the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA)
said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
This compares with a figure of roughly 40 GW for Germany,
according to data from that country's Federal Network Agency and
Germany's installed solar capacity stood at 38.24 GW at the
end of 2014, up 8 percent, the Federal Network Agency has said,
while installed capacity added in 2015 was roughly 1.3 GW,
according to Fraunhofer ISE.
China had been on track to surpass Germany.
Data from China's National Energy Administration (NEA) shows
installations were up 60 percent in 2014, and up 35 percent in
the first nine months of 2015, to 37.45 GW.
The NEA set an aggressive 2015 target of 23.1 GW for solar
farms, but did not issue a target for the "distributed solar"
category, which it defines as installations smaller than 20
megawatts, after installing just a quarter of its 2014 target.
"Overall, China managed to exceed its 35 GW set in the
framework of the twelfth five-year plan, clearly demonstrating
the political commitment," said Frank Haugwitz, director of Asia
Europe Clean Energy Advisory Co, citing the previous targets
China had set for the period from 2011 to 2015.
The NEA has yet to release final fourth-quarter and
full-year 2015 figures.
Solar makes up roughly 2.85 percent of China's installed
capacity, Reuters calculations using official data show.
China will add 15 GW of solar capacity in 2016, the NEA
chief said in December.
(Reporting by Adam Rose; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)