Beijing is relying more than ever on solar energy. China has announced that it will have installed a record 217 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic panels in 2023, compared to 87 GW in 2022. This new effort brings its total solar fleet to 609 GW. In comparison, the European Union, which also broke a record in this sector last year, has only installed 56 GW of photovoltaic panels in 2023. And its solar park, the result of several decades of investment in this sector of renewable energy, just reached a total of 263 GW, or barely more than one year of installation in China.
Beijing, which last year focused much more on solar than wind power, does not intend to stop there. China's overall renewable energy production capacity is expected to increase by “more than 2 terawatts, or 2000 GW, between 2023 and 2028, showing growth 3 times higher than that of the last five years. And solar energy will represent three quarters of this energy leap, predicts the International Energy Agency (IEA). This is 4 times more than Europe over the same period and 6 times more than the United States. According to our forecasts, “China will reach its target of 1,200 GW of cumulative solar photovoltaic and wind capacity this year by 2030,” adds the agency, a global reference in the energy sector.
Solar power is one of the most accessible low-carbon energy sources. China holds nearly 80% of the market share in this sector and the costs of photovoltaic modules have been divided by 15 in a decade, damaging European industry in the process.