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January-February: China's PV Installations Surpass Expectations, Bullish on Second and Third Quarter Peak Demand for Photovoltaics

published: 2024-03-27 17:07

Photovoltaic Installations Grow by 80% Year-on-Year in January-February

During January and February, photovoltaic installations saw a remarkable year-on-year growth of 80%, according to statistics released by the National Energy Administration on March 25th. The installed capacity reached 36.72GW, compared to 20.37GW during the same period last year.

Decrease in Wind and Solar Utilization Hours

According to data from the National Energy Administration, in January-February 2024, the cumulative average utilization of wind power was 373 hours, which is a decrease of 27 hours compared to the same period last year, representing a decline of 7%. Similarly, solar power had a cumulative average utilization of 168 hours during the same period, which is a decrease of 14 hours compared to the previous year, marking a decline of 7.7%. In contrast, during January-February 2023, wind power had a cumulative average utilization of 401 hours, which was an increase of 78 hours compared to the same period the year before, while solar power had a cumulative average utilization of 182 hours, remaining unchanged year-on-year.

Analysis of Reasons & Perspectives

Amidst the backdrop of rapid installation rush at the end of 2023 (with installations exceeding 50GW in December), the demand in January and February 2024 maintained a relatively high growth rate. We attribute this primarily to two factors: Firstly, the decrease in module price during January-February compared to the previous year has led to an increase in demand due to improved economic viability. Secondly, the reduction in utilization hours and the relaxation of absorption rates have provided installations. We believe that given the decline in utilization hours in the short term, improvements in land availability for large-scale installations, and the development in distributed solar projects in the southern regions, there is still considerable potential for photovoltaic demand to exceed expectations in the second and third quarters.

Source: Debon Renewable energy research

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