China’s Solar Capacity Surges; Expected to Top 1 TW by 2026

China’s solar sector is set to break records in the coming years says independent energy research firm Rystad Energy.

When installed capacity crosses the 500 gigawatts (GW) mark by the end of 2023, it will have taken 13 years to reach that milestone. That total, however, will be doubled to 1 terawatt (TW) in just three additional years.

Rystad Energy’s modeling shows total installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in China will cross the 1,000 GW mark by the end of 2026.

New capacity in 2023 is expected to top 150 GW, almost doubling the 87 GW installed in 2022. and Rystad’s projections show that the significant acceleration is not going to slow anytime soon.

About 165 GW is expected to be added in 2024 and 170 GW in 2025. This growth will see China’s cumulative solar PV capacity reach over 700 GW by 2024 and increase to close to 900 GW by the end of 2025, before topping 1 TW in 2026.

Today, China’s 500 GW represents approximately 40% of global capacity, with the US in second place, accounting for about 12% with 145 GW.

Installations in the US are also expected to grow, helped by the incentives offered through the Inflation Reduction Act, but total capacity will be about 209 GW in 2026, or around 11% of the global total.