Data: China installs more solar in one year than anyone ever has

Three sources of data on Chinese solar panel installations suggest the world’s largest economy doubled it’s rate of solar installations last year – building more solar panels in one year than any country has before.

Data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests China installed 12GW of solar panels whilst the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) put the figure at 10.7 GW Chinese media quoting industry sources  reports at least 9.5 GW.

The reports put Chinese solar installations at between 9.5 and 10.7GW, more than was installed by the previous record

holder Germany between 2010 and 2012. No country has previously installed more than 8GW of solar power.

The data means China will have installed three times more solar in 2013 than the total capacity of UK solar panels.

The data reflects a boom in Chinese solar installations since the government moved to prioritise solar power last year.

However most of China’s solar remains large-scale. An analysis by Greenpeace’s Li Shuo suggests that China has around 30GW of rooftop solar capacity – around the same as the total German solar market.

Of the total 17.16GW of solar installed so far, only around 35% of them are roof-top projects. The remaining 65% comes from large-scale land-based solar farms, most of which located in the remote western provinces of China.