In 2015, China’s wind energy and solar capacity increased by 34% and 74% respectively, while coal dropped by 3.7%.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics released their numbers for 2015 in March of this year and it looks as if the country may end up surpassing their carbon emissions targets.
Director of Energy Finance Studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), Tim Buckley said, “The latest figures confirm China’s record-breaking shift toward renewable power and away from coal”.
“Solar and wind continue to be the big winners, as illustrated by a 73.7% increase in grid-connected solar generation capacity. Declining consumption coupled with an over-abundance of domestic supply, meaning coal imports into China were particularly badly hit, dropping 30.4% yoy.”
“IEEFA forecasts that China will install an additional 22 GW of wind, 16GW of new hydro, another 6GW of nuclear, and 18GW of solar (60% utility scale, 40% distributed rooftop solar) in 2016,”
“With electricity demand forecast to grow by 3.0-3.5% yoy in 2016, this 62GW of additional zero carbon electricity capacity will be more than sufficient to meet total electricity demand growth, such that coal consumption is forecast to fall again in 2016.”
As reported on our blog back in April, Huadian Fuxin Energy, the renewable energy brand of one of the country’s biggest state-owned power generators, China Huadian Group, will look to ‘swap’ power allocations with coal energy producers. That means more wind energy will be going into the national grid and sold to central and eastern China.
Fuxin chairman Fang Zheng said, “We will offer to pay the coal-fired producers sums equivalent to or slightly higher than their profit margins, so that they are no worse, or better off.” Though some coal plants’ average output is expected to continue declining, even to below 50% capacity this year.