China hits record number of rooftop solar panels in 2021

China saw a record number of rooftop solar panels installed in 2021, adding 29 gigawatts to the country’s energy capacity. This figure represents more than half of the total solar capacity of 51GW rolled out across China last year, Bloomberg reported, citing the National Energy Administration.

The majority of the capacity was installed in the final quarter of 2021 as developers hastened to meet a subsidy deadline. The Asian country currently holds a total of 108GW of rooftop solar, which is more than anywhere else worldwide. Despite this, the 65GW forecasted by the main industry body for the year 2021 was cut short due to the high costs and project delays that hindered larger scale installations.

Nevertheless, estimates indicate high growth rates in 2022 accumulating to over 75GW. This record number is attributed to the government’s support for residential solar along with the development of vast clean energy hubs in the country. As local authorities are now able to purchase in bulk in an attempt to reduce prices, installations are expected to further flourish.

In addition, the pilot program — which kicked off last year to encourage consumption — managed to draw hundreds of cities and towns. Accordingly, program participants will be expected to install panels on 50 percent of government buildings, 40 percent of schools and hospitals, 30 percent of industrial buildings, and 20 percent of rural homes, by the end of 2023.

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