Renewables

China set to meet wind, solar power targets five years ahead of schedule

China expects to meet wind and solar energy targets five years ahead of schedule

Photo: Maria Maltseva from Pixabay

Published

July 1, 2023

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Published:

July 1, 2023

Country:

Comments:

1

Share

China is on track to double its solar and wind power capacity and achieve its ambitious 2030 target five years ahead of schedule. If all announced projects are successfully built and commissioned, the country will have a total of 1.2 TW by the end of 2025, according to a report by Global Energy Monitor (GEM). China has the highest wind and solar power capacities in the world.

GEM found that China has nearly half the world’s capacity for utility-scale wind and solar power plants.

The total has already reached 757 GW, and there are plans for an additional 750 GW, expected to come online by mid-decade. The prospective projects that have been announced or are in the preconstruction and construction phases amount to approximately 379 GW of utility-scale solar and 371 GW of wind capacity. GEM covers wind farms of over 10 MW and solar power plants of over 20 MW in its report.

Goals achieved five years ahead of schedule

China will have a capacity of 1.37 TW in wind and solar by the end of 2025 when all prospective projects are completed, surpassing the government’s target of 1.2 TW for 2030.

GEM attributed the rise in the two sectors to a combination of incentives and new regulations.

China has more installed utility-scale solar power capacity than the rest of the world combined, and the trend continues. It has reached 228 GW. The majority of large photovoltaic installations are concentrated in northern and northwestern provinces and deserts, particularly in Shanxi, Xinjiang, and Hebei.

The National Energy Administration reported that in the first five months of 2023 alone, the country installed an additional 61.2 GW of photovoltaics, worth USD 13.6 billion.

The total utility-scale wind power generation capacity has doubled since 2017 to over 310 GW. The highest concentration of wind farms is in northern and northwestern regions: Inner Mongolia, Hebei, and Xinjiang.

The offshore wind capacity has reached 31.4 GW, exceeding the combined capacity of all such facilities along the European coastlines.

Renewable sources to constitute at least one third of electricity mix by 2030

China, currently the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is responsible for half of the world’s coal consumption. But by 2030 it plans to cover at least one third of its electricity consumption from renewable sources. It has committed to begin reducing CO2 emissions by the end of the decade and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

China has committed to peak CO2 emissions by the end of the decade

GEM highlights that China is preparing energy storage for new wind farms and solar parks and developing technology to integrate generation, management, and storage systems. The country is also constructing dozens of green hydrogen plants that utilize renewable energy sources.

In terms of investment in wind and solar power, China surpassed the United States and Europe combined in 2022

The GEM report notes that China invested USD 164 billion in solar installations and USD 109 billion in new wind farms last year, surpassing the combined investment from the United States and Europe. Furthermore, it accounted for 55% of the global investments in 2022.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), China had a total wind power capacity of 329 GW, out of the global total of 825 GW, at the end of 2022. As for all types of photovoltaic installations combined, China had 307 GW out of an overall 849.5 GW in the world. The government’s calculations show total capacities were at 365 GW and 392 GW, respectively.

Comments (1)
Johnathan Galt / July 6, 2023

They’ve hit their coal plant goals, too – two new plants per week.

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