The Development Status of Renewable Energy in China
WWith energy consumption rapidly i nc re a sing, Chi na is facing challenges concerning energy supply stability, catastrophic environmental pollution caused by massive use of coal, and stress from international climate change negotiation due to huge amounts of carbon dioxide emissions. Conversely, China is facing a historical opportunity for global energy transformation, that is, by following the trend of global energy transformation, and actively promoting the revolution towards sustainable energy production and consumption, China can develop a renewable energy system that is clean, low in carbon emissions, and efficient. Therefore, renewable energy is the foreseeable choice for China’s energy development.
After years of development, the renewable energy industry in China has progressed in scale, technology, equipment manufacturing and more. China has also set new goals for this industry, and introduced new policies to support these targets. The scale of renewable energy in China continues expanding
The total installed capacity of renewable energy increased to 570 million kilowatts by the end of 2016, up from 254 million kilowatts in 2010, accounting for 34.7% of the total installed capacity in China. In addition, power generation from renewable energy nearly doubled by 2016 compared to consumption from 2010, and contributed 25.9% to the total electricity generation in 2016 (up from 18.0% in 2010). Commercial renewable energy supplies (including generated power and bio-liquid fuels) equal an estimated 483 million tons of standard coal, accounting for about 11.08% of the total energy consumption. If the use of renewable energy for non-commercial uses, such as solar thermal utilization, biomass biogas, biomass moulding fuels, and geothermal, is taken into account, the estimation is increased to approximately 558 million tons of traditional energy from coal, or 12.58% of the total energy consumption. This rise of 1.5 percentage points from 2010 demonstrates China’s achievements for low carbon-energy system transformation.
I. Hydropower installed capacity grows, becomes the main clean energy for power system.
In 2016, the new hydropower installed capacity (including pumped storage) in China was 12.58 million kilowatts, bringing the accumulated installed capacity to 332 million kilowatts, up 4.0% from t2015. Power
generation reached 1.18 trillion kwh, or approximately 368 million tons of standard coal in 2016, accounting for 8.5% of the total energy consumption. This means that hydropower is becoming the largest clean energy resource in China.
II. Wind power installed capacity continues to increase, and technical equipment capability improves.
China is one of the world leaders for cumulative and yearly new wind power installed capacity. With years of scale development, by 2012, wind power had become the third largest electricity energy source in China, surpassing nuclear power. By the end of 2016, the total wind power installed capacity reached 148 million kilowatts, with a year power output of 241 billion kwh, accounting for 4.02% of the whole electricity consumption. Due to fierce market competition, the outdated wind power capacity is becoming obsolete, which means newer, cleaner technologies have needed to be developed. Several manufacturers have already developed 6MW wind power equipment that fully meet domestic onshore and offshore wind power development needs.
III. As solar energy technology progresses, the market application is diversified.