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China may meet solar, wind goals five years earlier

The total capacity of renewable energy generation in China — including hydro, wind, solar and biomass — reached 1.2 billion kW at the end of last year. PHOTO/FILE


China may achieve its 2030 goal for wind and solar energy capacity five years ahead of schedule, writes China Daily.

Citing research conducted by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, the state-run newspaper adds that prefecture-level regions have planned to increase installed capacity for wind and solar by at least 800 gigawatts (GW) during the 14th five-year plan period (2021-25).

This means that it is possible that China could achieve its goal of increasing the combined wind and solar capacity to 1,200GW by 2030 sooner than originally planned. (Analysis published by Carbon Brief last year already noted that China was likely to hit the target years ahead of schedule.)

The target was outlined in a State Council circular on implementation plans for the development of new energy unveiled last May.

The total capacity of renewable energy generation in China — including hydro, wind, solar and biomass — reached 1.2 billion kW at the end of last year, up by 2.5 percentage points on 2021, according to the National Energy Administration.

This indicates that the national capacity for renewable energy has overtaken coal for the first time in a historic catch-up.

Meanwhile, China Dialogue has published an article by Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, a thinktank saying that China’s emissions will peak when the growth of clean energy surpasses the growth of total energy demand, which he says may occur in 2024.

Elsewhere, S&P Global reports from the Clean Energy Expo recently held in Beijing, saying key topics of discussion among China’s largest power firms included electricity market reforms to incorporate more renewables into domestic energy consumption.

In related comments, the South China Morning Post quotes Liang Yongpan, chair of Datang International, one of the largest state-owned power producers in China, who said that electricity market reform would allow the firm to decrease output from its coal plants and boost renewables, by charging higher prices for its coal power.

Finally, a comment for the Hill says that to accomplish the goals outlined in their individual hydrogen strategies, it is vital for the EU and the US to “counter” China’s “dominance” over the supply chain for “critical hydrogen components, such as electrolysers and fuel cells”.

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