China Idles Solar Power

China Idles Solar PowerChina Idles Solar Power

China halted power flows from solar panels for the first time, as congestion on its electricity grid prevented renewable energy from reaching customers.

About 9% of the nation’s solar capacity sat idle in the first six months of the year, according to data from the National Energy Administration released Tuesday, Bloomberg reported.

China’s electricity grid is struggling to absorb quickly increasing flows from both renewables and coal-fired power plants. Authorities either delay hooking new plants to the grid or idle facilities whose output cannot be managed.

Wind farms for years have suffered such delays and solar now is joining. The problem is exacerbated by slower growth in electricity use and by more coal plants coming on line.

Gansu had the highest rate for idled solar plants, with 28% of power generation out of service. Xinjiang’s rate was 19%, the NEA said in a statement on its website.

China added about 7.7 gigawatts of solar power in the first half, more than doubling installations a year ago, the NEA data show.