China powers ahead with renewables, carbon reduction
  ·  2023-02-20  ·   Source: Xinhua News Agency

This aerial photo taken on December 19, 2022 shows a view of the Baihetan hydropower station located on the Jinsha River, the upper section of the Yangtze River in southwest China (XINHUA)  

China has been making huge strides in shifting from its dependence on coal to renewables for power generation, a boon to achieving the country's "dual carbon" goals and tackling the global climate change.

China's renewable energy power generation reached 2.7 trillion kWh in 2022, accounting for 31.6 percent of the country's total electricity consumption, an increase of 1.7 percentage points compared with 2021, the latest data from the National Energy Administration (NEA) shows.

"Renewable energy is playing an increasingly prominent role in ensuring the country's energy supply," said NEA official Wang Dapeng.

China saw its newly installed capacity of renewable energy reach 152 million kilowatts in 2022, accounting for 76.2 percent of the country's newly installed power generation capacity.

The steady growth of renewables was accompanied by accelerated investments in infrastructure projects. China saw several landmark energy projects completed in 2022, including the full operation of the Baihetan hydropower station, the country's second largest.

Industry leader, green contributor  

China's renewable energy resources continue to lead the world, and the focus of the global new energy industry is gravitating toward China, Wang Dapeng said.

China-made photovoltaic modules, wind turbines, gear boxes and other key components accounted for 70 percent of the global market share last year, according to data from the NEA.

The accelerated development of China's renewable industry is a concrete step in the country's efforts to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

In 2022, China's renewable energy generation was equivalent to a reduction of 2.26 billion tonnes of domestic carbon dioxide emissions. Its exports of wind power and photovoltaic products helped other countries reduce emissions by approximately 573 million tonnes.

The two figures add up to 2.83 billion tonnes of emissions reduction, or about 41 percent of the global total of carbon emissions reduction due to renewable energy, NEA data shows.

"China has become an active participant and important contributor in the global fight against climate change," Wang said.


Staff members work at the production line of wind turbine blade at an energy company in Ulanqab, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, on February 9 (XINHUA)  

Renewable generation 

Renewables are set to dominate the growth of the world's electricity supply over the next three years, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

According to IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, a tipping point for power sector emissions may be on the horizon as renewable and nuclear power are growing quickly enough to meet rising demand for electricity.

China is expected to account for more than 45 percent of the growth in renewable generation in the period 2023-2025, followed by the European Union with 15 percent.

The IEA's forecast echoes China's 14th five-year plan for the renewable energy industry. Published in June 2022, the plan states that renewable energy will account for more than 50 percent of the increase in the primary energy consumption from 2021 to 2025.

By 2025, renewable energy consumption will amount to the equivalent of saving 1 billion tonnes of standard coal.

"Green is the defining feature of China in the new era, and green development features the Chinese path to modernization," said a white paper issued by China's State Council Information Office last month.

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