Distributed photovoltaic installation is experiencing rapid growth in China, surpassing centralized PV in terms of installed capacity. Supported actively by national and local governments, China’s distributed PV sector is expanding swiftly, with a compound growth rate of 51.5% in new installations between 2016 and 2022. In 2022, the new installation capacity of distributed PV power plants accounted for 8.5% of the total new installations, marking the second consecutive year of surpassing centralized PV power plants. The cumulative installed capacity of distributed PV power plants continued to rise, reaching 40.2% in 2022.
In the segmented market, commercial and industrial distributed PV is projected to experience explosive growth in 2022. China is set to install 51.1GW of new distributed PV in 2022, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 74.6%. Among this, 25.9GW of new commercial and industrial distributed PV will be installed, showing a significant year-on-year growth rate of 233.0% and accounting for 29.6% of the total. This indicates the emergence of a three-party competitive market between household PV, centralized PV, and commercial and industrial distributed PV. Based on estimates, the cumulative installed capacity of household/commercial/industrial projects in China is expected to reach 47.9/199.4GW, respectively, by 2025. From 2023 to 2025, it is projected that 26.8/28.6/30.3GW of new distributed PV will be installed for households, while 32.0/34.8/37.3GW of new distributed PV will be installed for industrial/commercial purposes.