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China Plans to Increase Renewable Energy Use in Order to Meet 30/60 Carbon Goals

  • 2021-05-18

China's National Energy Administration said earlier this week that the country plans to increase its wind and photovoltaic power from 11% to about 16.5% of its total electricity consumption by 2025.

During the Carbon Neutrality 3060 Forum held in Beijing on April 20, Director of National Expert Committee on Climate Change, Liu Yanhua, said, "The interval between both goals in China is 30 years, while that for the United States is 43 years, and for the European Union it's 71 years. So, the time is really limited, and the pressure is huge."

At the forum, Zhou Dadi, a member of the expert committee, remarked that it was a timely decision by China to set the goals and achieve them, since the country already stands at the same level, or an even higher one, with advanced countries in developing new energies. "The priority is to take the initiative, especially on peak carbon emissions. And there's no room to rely on high energy consumption products to increase GDP," Zhou said.

In 2020, China's added 48.2GW in installed solar capacity, which is the highest in three years. However, land that meets the conditions need for large-scale centralized photovoltaic power station construction in China is becoming harder to come by.

In response to this, Lin Jianwei, Chairman of Jolywood, believes that China should focus on the development of distributed photovoltaic power plants using various rooftop resources in urban and rural areas. According to statistics, at present, China's existing building area can support 400 GW of photovoltaics, and the annual newly completed building area can be installed with 40 GW each year. This shows that there is still immense room for growth in the distributed photovoltaic generation segment.

In 2021, the global newly added installed capacity is expected to be 150 to 170GW. China’s newly added installed capacity for the year is expected to be 55-65GW as the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Construction, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology are formulating relevant policies to foster growth. During the “14th Five Year Plan” period, annual newly added capacity is expected to reach 70-90GW.

China is also exploring ways of making hydrogen energy. One such project is a world-leading demonstrative project that was put into operation by Baofeng Energy Group on April 20 in China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The project uses solar energy to power the electrolysis of water in order to produce hydrogen and aims to reduce the current high costs of doing so through research and cooperation with others in the field.

As one of the 190+ countries jointly promoting the energy transition and responding to global climate change, China will continue to hold talks with other countries and modify its energy structure to reduce fossil energy’s share in the primary energy mix to allocate an increasing share to renewables, such as solar and wind power.

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