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China on Track to Achieve 2030 Renewable Energy Target Ahead of Schedule

China is expected to exceed its 2030 renewable energy targets six years ahead of schedule. By the end of 2024, the country will have added 70GW of wind power and 190GW of solar capacity. China was responsible for roughly 60% of worldwide renewable energy capacity expansions in 2023.

China will add 70GW of wind power capacity and 190GW of solar capacity by the end of 2024
Credit: Xinhua

According to projections from a state-owned researcher, China's renewable energy sector, particularly solar and wind power, is expected to grow rapidly this year, putting the country six years ahead of schedule to fulfil its 2030 renewable energy targets.

The China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute (CREEI), a National Energy Administration (NEA) research organisation, projects that China will add 70 gigawatts (GW) of installed wind power capacity and 190GW of solar capacity by the end of 2024. In 2023 alone, China added 217GW of solar power and 76GW of wind power capacity, bringing the total capacity to 1,050GW by the end of last year.

If these estimates hold true, China's installed solar and wind energy capacity will reach 1,310GW by the end of this year, surpassing its 2030 renewable energy target of 1,200GW well ahead of schedule. The CREEI report highlights the significance of progressively developing and deploying renewable energy to increase energy self-sufficiency.

China, the world's greatest greenhouse gas emitter and renewable energy developer, contributed for about 60% of global renewable energy capacity increases in 2023, adding a record-breaking 301GW of solar, wind, and hydropower generation capacity.

However, the rapid rise of China's multibillion-dollar renewable energy sector, particularly the solar cell industry, has sparked concerns about overcapacity caused by a supply-demand mismatch. Industry executives have urged for government intervention to address the problem.

According to CREEI, China's wind power sector would continue to grow at a pretty fast rate, while solar power capacity will expand rapidly. As of May, China already had approximately 690GW of installed solar power capacity and 460GW of wind power capacity, accounting for 38% of the country's total installed power generation capacity.

To achieve its goal of having 80% of its energy mix come from non-fossil fuels by 2060, the same year it aims to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions, China must enhance the stability and reliability of its renewable power supply and upgrade its power grids to facilitate the consumption of renewable energy, according to CREEI. This creates huge prospects for the energy storage and power grid equipment sectors.

In the first quarter of 2024, China's energy storage capacity using innovative technologies such as lithium-ion batteries tripled over the previous year. Tech behemoths like Tesla and Contemporary Amperex Technology are looking to this industry for expansion potential.

Furthermore, the power grid equipment industry is likely to develop as state-owned utility companies raise investment to satisfy the country's rising electricity consumption and incorporate renewable energy producing capacity into the power system, according to Citi and Daiwa Capital last month.

  • China is projected to exceed its 2030 renewable energy targets six years ahead of schedule.

  • The country will add 70GW of wind power capacity and 190GW of solar capacity by the end of 2024.

  • China accounted for nearly 60% of global renewable energy capacity additions in 2023.

Source: SCMP

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