China is likely to have surpassed Germany in the fourth quarter as the country with the most solar capacity, despite missing its goal for 2015, as shown by industry data last Thursday.
China's installed photovoltaic solar capacity represented 43 gigawatts (GW) by the end of the year, up approximately 15 gigawatts from 2014, the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) declared, according to the official Xinhua news agency. This compares with an amount of almost 40 GW for Germany, according to data from that country's Federal Network Agency and Fraunhofer ISE.
Germany's installed solar capacity was 38.24 GW at the end of 2014, up 8 percent, the Federal Network Agency has mentioned, while installed capacity added in 2015 was approximately 1.3 GW, according to Fraunhofer ISE. China had been on target to overtake Germany.
Data from China's National Energy Administration (NEA) shows the number of installations rose by 60 percent in 2014, and up 35 percent in the first nine months of 2015, to 37.45 GW. The NEA establishes an aggressive 2015 objective of 23.1 GW for solar farms, but did not issue a target for the "distributed solar" category, which it outlines as installations smaller than 20 megawatts, after installing merely a quarter of its 2014 goal. The NEA has still to publish final fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 data.
Solar makes up around 2.85 percent of China's installed capacity, according to Reuters calculations. The NEA chief declared in December that China will add 15 GW of solar capacity in 2016.