A recent study suggests that China’s wind and solar power sectors are experiencing a remarkable boom, potentially accelerating global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
The installation of solar panels alone is on track to increase worldwide capacity by 85% by 2025. Remarkably, China is set to exceed its green energy targets for 2030, achieving them five years ahead of schedule.
However, the report highlights that the country is also increasing its coal plants to support the new wind and solar farms.
Regarded as a crucial player in mitigating climate change, China relies heavily on coal for electricity generation, accounting for approximately 69% of its carbon dioxide emissions.
The independent research group Global Energy Monitor (GEM) study reveals that China is rapidly expanding its capacity to generate power from renewable sources.
The research, widely used by organizations such as the World Bank and the International Energy Agency, analyzes China’s existing green energy capacity while projecting future developments.
The country has already outpaced the rest of the world combined in terms of large-scale solar panel installations, and its wind energy capacity has doubled since 2017.
This expansion is merely the beginning. GEM predicts that China will more than double its wind and solar capacity by the end of 2025.
This surge would result in a 50% increase in the global wind turbine fleet and an 85% increase in large-scale solar installations compared to current levels.
China’s remarkable progress in renewable energy results from long-term plans spanning over two decades.
The country has emerged as the leading global supplier of solar panels, driving down costs throughout the supply chain and making solar and wind installations economically competitive. Subsidies and provincial regulations mandating green energy targets have further supported this growth. In the previous year, China accounted for 55% of the $500 billion spent globally on wind and solar power.
China’s achievement in renewable energy expansion could significantly contribute to limiting global warming, but its continued reliance on coal poses a substantial challenge.
In 2022 alone, China constructed approximately two new coal-fired power stations per week, often located alongside solar and wind parks, to provide backup power and ensure a consistent energy supply.
The crucial question going forward, according to Martin Weil, one of the report’s authors, is how these coal plants will be deployed, hoping to maximize the ratio of renewables to coal.
China’s rapid wind and solar power development has exceeded expectations, outpacing its green energy targets and presenting a promising opportunity to combat climate change.
However, the country must address its reliance on coal to capitalize on the potential of renewable energy sources fully.