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China leads in renewable energy growth

By ZHENG XIN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-07-12 09:17
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An employee works at a production facility of photovoltaic panels in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, in June. SI WEI/FOR CHINA DAILY

NEA: Installed capacity rockets 90 fold in 10 years to 1.1 billion kilowatts

China's total installed capacity of renewable energy generation has increased by around 90 times over the past 10 years, cementing its role as a global leader in renewable energy capacity growth.

The country's total installed capacity for renewable energy generation rose to 1.1 billion kilowatts during the last 10 years, with generation capacity of hydropower, wind, solar and biomass ranking tops in the world, according to the National Energy Administration.

The combined installed capacity of wind and solar power has reached 670 million kW, almost 90 times that in 2012, it said.

During the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, China's renewable energy generation capacity is expected to account for more than 50 percent of the total and the generation capacity for wind and solar power is to be doubled, it said.

An analyst said China has been leading in renewable energy production figures for years and it is also currently the world's largest producer of wind and solar energy, as well as the largest domestic and outbound investor in renewable energy.

Wei Hanyang, a power market analyst at research firm BloombergNEF, said China has long been the top country in wind and solar PV-installed capacity, supported by its full supply chains and robust policy that enables fast deployment.

China has unparalleled advantages in boosting clean power installation thanks to massive demand from the domestic market, while State Grid operators in the country can also ensure output of renewables.

According to the NEA, renewable energy has become the principal source of the country's newly added installed generation capacity.

In the first five months, the country's newly-added installed capacity for renewable energy generation rose to 43.49 million kW, 82.1 percent of the country's newly added power generation installed capacity, the administration said.

The figure was only 2.7 percent 10 years ago when the country still relied heavily on coal with relatively lower energy efficiency, it said.

China has also developed a complete industrial system of renewable energy technology during the past 10 years.

It is now capable of independently designing and manufacturing the world's largest megawatt-scale hydraulic turbine set while solar power generation technology has also witnessed rapid development and 10 MW offshore wind turbines have also entered volume production.

As a result, the scale of development and utilization of renewable energy in the country was equivalent to 753 million metric tons of standard coal last year, reducing 2.07 billion tons of carbon dioxide, 400,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and 450,000 tons of nitrogen oxide.

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