Paper Published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

Title: Picturing China’s photovoltaic energy future: Insights from CMIP6 climate projections

Journal: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews


Abstract: Vigorous development of solar photovoltaic energy (PV) is one of the key components to achieve China’s “30•60 Dual-Carbon Target”. In this study, by utilizing the outputs generated by CMIP6 models under different shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) and a physical PV model (GSEE), future changes in PV power generation across China are provided for the outlined carbon neutralization period (2051–2070). The results reveal distinct spatiotemporal characteristics in the changes in PV output across China. Overall, compared to the historical period, annual PV power generation is projected to decrease in northern regions and Tibet Plateau with a maximum decrease of ∼4 % under the high emission scenario (SSP585), while southern and central regions exhibit significant increases. Remarkably, under the green development pathway (SSP126), PV power generation is expected to rise by over 10 % in these regions. The magnitude of decrease in the north and increase in the south is projected to become more pronounced with the continuous increase of future carbon emissions. It is anticipated that the three northern regions of China will experience greater decreases in PV power generation in winter compared to other seasons, especially under SSP585. Additionally, the southeast region shows the smallest increase in summer PV generation out of all seasons. Moreover, under SSP126 trajectory, most regions in China exhibit reduced inter-annual and intra-annual variability in PV generation compared to the historical levels. This suggests that pursuing a sustainable path could substantially mitigate potential risks associated with PV generation fluctuations in China.