If the statements of a solar manufacturing association are to be believed then in 2023 China solar power capacity could potentially achieve record growth of no less than 30 percent. They are already the world’s biggest solar power maker and solar power generator and they are expected to add 95 to 120 GW of solar power before the year ends.
In 2022 87.41 GW of new solar power was brought into operation by China and courtesy of this new addition their total installed capacity now stands at 392.61 GW. However, it isn’t going to be smooth sailing for China as certain concerns and troubles await them down this road.
Energy storage paired with land and water needs are concerns
The cost and trade of solar power equipment cannot be overlooked as it is going to pose a serious concern even as the country stares at the face of achieving record growth.
Wang Bohua who happens to be an honorary chairman of the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) in a conference said, “The development of solar power stations in China continues to face several problems despite a slight decrease in investment costs.”
One of these said problems is the mandatory requirement of certain local governments who want energy storage places to be installed next to solar farms. Another problem faced is the restriction on the usage of land and water as Beijing looks to protect its farmlands.
Troubles with trade and ever-growing competition
In 2023 China solar power capacity could potentially achieve record growth but it won’t happen without troubles. While the solar capacity is growing the trade disputes faced by solar-product exporters is growing as well.
As recently as December the US placed a ban on importing solar products and other stuff from China’s Xinjiang region as they think that behind-the-scenes forced labor might be responsible for all this production which they don’t want to encourage.
The US Customs have seized 3 GW of solar modules imported from China as they doubt its origins lie in China’s slave labor camps. To make matters worse China faces tough competition in exports in the US, EU, and India.
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Wang said, “The trade barriers are bringing increasing difficulties for Chinese solar firms seeking to expand in overseas markets, and the rapid development of local manufacturers in those countries will hit China’s solar manufacturing industry. Chinese solar firms pay greater attention to competition, as the US, EU, and other countries are putting in place policies and making actual moves to support their local industry.”
As per CPIA in the year 2022, China’s solar wafer exports stood at 36.3 GW which was up by 61% on a Y-o-Y basis while solar cell export of 23.8 GW experienced a Y-o-Y growth of 131%. The export of solar modules only saw a 56% growth as more module plants have been set up overseas.