China to reach 5.5 TW of photovoltaic by 2050

China is set to reach 5.5 TW of photovoltaic by 2050, according to forecasts by Norwegian risk-assessment specialist DNV in its latest report, “Energy Transition Outlook China 2024.”

DNV forecasts that PV in China will account for 38% of electricity production by 2050, up from 5% today, and that more than a third of solar capacity will be combined with storage by mid-century.
The figure includes 3.9 TW of photovoltaics and 1.6 TW of solar plus storage. DNV said growth will be driven by the low cost of photovoltaics and continued political support.

China’s total grid-connected installed capacity is expected to reach 6.7 TW by 2040 and 8.7 TW by 2050. Renewables are expected to command an 88% market share by 2050, and that the country will more than multiply its renewable energy installations starting today. By 2050, solar energy is expected to account for 38% of all electricity produced in China, about 14 times more than current levels.

Analysts predict that solar will continue to lead renewable energy development annually for the remainder of this decade and the next, with more than 100 GW of additional PV expected each year through 2039. Through the 2040s, DNV He said solar plus storage solutions are likely to become the technology of choice, with around 110 GW to be installed each year. By 2050, it expects 34% of China’s solar energy to be combined with storage applications, primarily batteries.
The report says the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for solar is currently around $39/MWh, but is almost double that for solar plus storage, at $75/MWh. By 2050, DNW expects LCOE to be as low as $24/MWh for solar and $44/MWh for solar plus storage, due to technological innovation and lower investment costs.

“As more and more solar PV enters the energy system, the price cannibalization effect becomes evident and the price of solar electricity begins to decline,” the report says. “Over time, solar with storage becomes a profitable option for developers, which is also reflected in the increase in net capacity of solar with storage, in absolute numbers and compared to solar PV” .

The continued growth of solar energy will be accompanied by a corresponding decline in fossil fuel generation, which is projected to fall from 66% today to 7% in 2050. Other non-fossil sources, including wind, will account for almost 55% of Solar energy. energy mix.

“In other words, by 2050, we expect a substantial transformation of China’s energy mix, from one dominated by fossils to a much cleaner one,” DNV said.

Remi Eriksen, group president and CEO of DNV, highlighted China’s significant progress in decarbonization and the development of clean technologies.
“However, there is a possibility that China will further push its transition to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels even further and faster and bring China closer to net-zero emissions by 2050,” Eriksen added.

Earlier this week, China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) said the country’s cumulative PV capacity has exceeded 660 GW, with more than 47 GW of solar power added in the first three months of this year.