Wind & solar provide over half of China’s additional power capacity

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China’s National Energy Administration has announced that 2021 was the fifth consecutive year that newly installed wind and solar farms across the country accounted for over 50% of additional power capacity. 

Statistics show new solar farms added a record 54.9 gigawatts of power last year, which is 14% more than in 2020. Wind power capacity growth, however, declined by a third to 47.6GW after a record 71.7GW was installed in 2020. The decline was a result of a tariff subsidies phase-out for onshore wind farms.

The combined wind and solar farms installation volume of 102.5GW last year accounted for 58% of additional power capacity in the country, compared to 63% in 2020 and between 51% and 55% from 2017 to 2019.

“China may have resorted to stabilizing coal supply in the short term, and balancing competing energy goals is still challenging, but it does not mean it is diverting away from its long-term climate change goals,” Miaoru Huang, research director at energy and commodities consultancy Wood Mackenzie, was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post.

She projected that the nation will add close to 120GW of new solar and wind capacity in 2022, up 20% from last year.

China aims to reach a total wind and solar capacity of 1,200GW by 2030, almost double the 635GW in place at the end of last year. It also plans to increase the contribution of non-fossil fuels to total energy consumption to 25% by 2030.

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