Aerial view of a fishery-solar hybrid photovoltaic power station at Tiangang Lake in Suqian, Jiangsu Province of China. (Photo by Xu Changliang/Visual China Group via Getty Images)
As China shuttered industries during its coronavirus lockdown in January and February, every form of energy production dropped from prior-year performance but one.
Thermal power and hydropower declined significantly, nuclear power and wind power declined slightly, and solar power generation grew steadily,” reported China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Solar was up 12%.
The Bureau neither explained nor speculated why, but at least one analyst had predicted it:
“On the power supply side, we believe baseload generation resources such as coal, nuclear, and gas-fired combined heat and power will be weaker than expected – with coal plants impacted the most in operation hours,” wrote Xizhou Zhou, vice president for global power and renewables at IHS Markit.
“Renewable generation volume will unlikely be affected significantly due to their non-dispatchability and preferential status in the Chinese power system,” he wrote.